WKBN.com https://www.wkbn.com Local News, Weather and Sports in Youngstown, Ohio Fri, 29 Sep 2023 04:36:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.2.2 https://www.wkbn.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2019/06/apple-touch-icon-ipad-retina.png?w=32 WKBN.com https://www.wkbn.com 32 32 162794522 Suspect taken to hospital after hours-long scene in Mercer County https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/officers-surround-home-in-mercer-county/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 20:44:05 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618231 COOLSPRING TWP., Pa. (WKBN) - A suspect is in custody following an hours-long situation involving multiple law enforcement agencies near the intersection of state Routes 62 and 19 in Coolspring Township on Thursday.

Thursday afternoon, officers were sent to 64-year-old Robert Suchy's home on Tripplewood Drive to conduct a welfare check. He had not been responding to his sister, who had been with him the previous night, according to Mercer County District Attorney Pete Acker.

According to a police report, troopers had initially been called to the residence of Suchy's neighbor shortly before noon on Thursday. The neighbor told police that Suchy had entered the house with a handgun and had attempted to force the victim to come with him. When the neighbor tried to pull away, the report states that Suchy aimed the gun at the victim.

The victim was able to break away and escape the home, then called police, who obtained an arrest warrant for Suchy on charges of burglary, attempted kidnapping and simple assault.

Police were trying to get Suchy to come out of his own house. He did not respond, and they had been unable to reach him. Officers on the scene called for backup, including an armored vehicle and drone, to serve the warrant that had been issued in relation to the incident from earlier in the day. Troopers worked to clear a perimeter around Suchy's house, advising nearby homes to evacuate or shelter in place.

After several hours, at around 7 p.m., troopers with the Pennsylvania State Police Department were able to get Suchy out of the home after firing tear gas into the house. Suchy was then taken to Sharon Regional Medical Center for evaluation, according to Acker.

No shots were fired, and Suchy did not have any known physical injuries, according to PSP.

However, the police report states that there were multiple firearms found in Suchy's home, several of which were loaded.

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At this time, it's not known if he will face any charges from the situation involving law enforcement Thursday afternoon into the evening.

1618231 2023-09-29T02:35:59+00:00
Business structure fire under investigation https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/austintown-news/business-structure-fire-under-investigation/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 02:22:49 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618629 AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) -- Officials are working to figure out what started a fire in Austintown late Thursday evening.

Crews were called to North Yorkshire Boulevard around 8:45 p.m. Thursday for a fully engulfed structure fire.

According to Austintown fire Chief Andy Frost, a business used the building for storage.

No one was hurt, but the building is a total loss.

1618629 2023-09-29T02:22:51+00:00
7th grader saves classmate's life during cafeteria emergency https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/brookfield-news/7th-grader-saves-classmates-life-during-cafeteria-emergency/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:23:06 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618181 BROOKFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) - A seventh grader in Brookfield is being called a life-saver after she stepped in to help a classmate during a lunchroom emergency last week.

It was inside Brookfield Middle School's cafeteria, where seventh grader Luciana Kolat was eating breaded shrimp last Friday.

"One of those impossible breaks and half of it went down my throat and half of it stayed up," she said.

Kolat tried to swallow the rest, then tried to cough it out.

"So I stood up and I put my hands around my throat," she said.

The whole incident was caught on camera. In the video, you can see Kolat struggling to get the breaded shrimp out, even trying to stick her fingers down her throat.

"Her face started getting a little blue. I was like, 'OK, something is definitely up. Something is wrong,'" said Jenna Omar, Kolat's friend who was sitting at the same table.

Omar tapped Kolat's back. She tried looking for help before taking matters into her own hands.

"So I knew I had to do the Heimlich maneuver. So I found her belly button, put both of my hands right there and gave it one good push," Omar said.

Luckily, the food came out. Omar says she learned the Heimlich from her mom, who is in the medical field.

"Definitely a scare. I'm thankful I'm alive because if Jenna wasn't there, I don't know what would have happened," Kolat said.

Kolat said she had an anxiety attack before she calmed down. Since then, she has thanked Omar for saving her life.

Now, the school is considering teaching the Heimlich maneuver at a younger age.

"Because I feel like it's something that everyone should know because you never know when it could come in handy and when somebody actually needs it. So if somebody does need it, what are you going to do in that situation if you can't get someone for help?" Omar said.

1618181 2023-09-28T22:23:08+00:00
Local family receives award for farm conservation efforts https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/local-family-receives-award-for-farm-conservation-efforts/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 02:53:42 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618588 (WKBN) - Earlier Thursday evening, on a farm south of Columbiana, the Miller family was honored for having recently received the Ohio Farm Family Conservation Award. They're cattle farmers who do their best to conserve their land.

The family was honored at a meeting of the Eastern Ohio Grazing Council.

"Basically, the biggest thing, we're trying to support and sustain top soil because that's where we grow our grass and that's what feeds our cows," said Todd Miller, fourth generation.

The Miller family farm is on Lower Elkton Road, three miles south of the roundabout in Columbiana. They have 125 acres. The Millers have been farming this land since the late 1800s. For most of that time, it was a grain farm.

"My dad went to his grave shaking his head a little but I didn't like riding a tractor as much as I do like moving cows and working cows," Miller said.

Miller says the least expensive way to feed cows is with grass, and they do so nine to 10 months out of the year, using hay only during the winter months. But grass needs good soil to grow, so conserving the soil is priority one.

"Practices such as what we're standing on here is a heavy-use pad used for feeding cattle when it's too muddy to feed them elsewhere," Miller said.

The building where Thursday evening's meeting was held is a heavy-use pen pack where the cattle are fed during winter.

"Other things we put into place, we have access roads when we do have to run tractors up and down to feed cattle, that we're not creating ruts and mud," Miller said.

Miller says these practices are a big change from how cattle farmers used to work.

"Oh, absolutely. It used to be all the pastures you saw were the bottom ground where they couldn't crop farm," Miller said.

But Miller says it took no convincing him that these were the methods to be used.

"No, because I think it just makes sense. Well, one thing is I hate mud, and so does cattle and so does equipment. So these conservation practices really eliminate a lot of the mud issues we had. No, I think when you look at the bottom dollar, the conservation issues make sense," Miller said.

Along with the Ohio Farm Family Conservation Award, State Representative Monica Blasdel presented the Millers with a proclamation from the House of Representatives on a job well done.

1618588 2023-09-29T02:53:44+00:00
Mill Creek deer hunt issue goes to court https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/youngstown-news/mill-creek-deer-hunt-issue-goes-to-court/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:06:52 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618303 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) -- The courtroom was jammed Thursday with advocates for and against a planned deer hunt at Mill Creek MetroParks.

The issue to be decided: Whether or not directors have the legal authority to cull the herd, including the use of USDA sharpshooters.

Trumbull County Commissioner Denny Malloy is also a regional director of the wildlife group known as Whitetails Unlimited.

"'Whitetails Unlimited': That's just legalized government poaching," Malloy said.

He said that while hunting is a legitimate way to manage the deer population, he disagrees with the park's plans.

"That makes my stomach turn," Malloy said. "There's no tradition with that. There's no sport to that. That is basically calling an exterminator to get rid of the deer."

Local veterinarian Donald Allen is one of those filing the suit, claiming the best course is allowing Mother Nature to take over.

"When man steps in to interfere with Mother Nature, he generally screws up," Allen said.

The deer hunting program is set to begin this weekend in certain sections of park land, but several witnesses worry hunters won't adhere to the boundaries.

"I mean, this map -- nobody's going to follow this, I'm sorry. Nobody's going to follow it," said Kathryn Hamilton, who opposed the planned hunt.

Park directors say Mill Creek park is the only facility of its kind in Ohio without a deer management program, and those involved in the scheduled hunt say the deer population here is now threatening vegetation all around the park district.

The park's natural resources manager Nick Derico claims not managing the deer population would be irresponsible.

"MetroParks is charged to preserve, and conserve, and protect the lands within our holdings -- that includes all species of plants and wildlife," said Derico.

A decision in the case is expected before the weekend.

1618303 2023-09-28T22:06:54+00:00
Eviction notice prompts Niles standoff https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/niles-news/eviction-notice-prompts-niles-standoff/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 17:04:23 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1617874 NILES, Ohio (WKBN) — Charges are expected to be filed later against a Niles man who police said had to be subdued when an eviction notice was served at his home. 

Police Capt. John Marshall said the man refused to leave the Spruce Street home when the notice was served about 12 p.m. Thursday and several police were called to the scene.

Police went inside and had to use chemical spray and a stun weapon to subdue the man, Marshall said.

Paramedics are treating the man before he is taken to the Trumbull County jail.

1617874 2023-09-28T17:04:25+00:00
County prosecutor's office offering self-defense classes to community https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/youngstown-news/county-prosecutors-office-offering-self-defense-classes-to-community/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 01:38:18 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618582 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) -- The Mahoning County Prosecutor has started a program to teach people self-defense, the first class of which was held Thursday evening at Youngstown State University.

Two other classes have also been scheduled:

  • 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Campbell Community Literacy Workforce and Cultural Center
  • 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, at the Youngstown Jewish Community Center

"It's a three-component class. The first, we'll do a little background information about the law concerning self-defense," said Gina DeGenova, Mahoning County prosecutor. "Then, we're going to do a little bit about awareness of situations, and there will be a physical component as well, where our attendants and participants will get some hands-on training."

Thee will be five or six additional self-defense classes held next year at various locations throughout Mahoning County.

1618582 2023-09-29T01:38:20+00:00
Hubbard couple credits neighbor for saving them during fire https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/hubbard-news/street-blocked-while-crews-battle-house-fire/ Wed, 27 Sep 2023 22:01:09 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1616801 HUBBARD, Ohio (WKBN) -- A fire destroyed a house in Hubbard Wednesday. The couple who lives there says they're grateful to be alive. They could have lost their lives if it wasn't for the quick thinking of a neighbor.

Tom Foraker was taking a nap in his South Main Street home in Hubbard on Wednesday evening when the house caught fire. The front of the home was consumed by flames. He says his next-door neighbor's quick thinking saved his life.

"It was engulfed. I never would have made it if it wasn't for him," Foraker said. "I was sleeping, and thank God for my neighbor Johnny. He came up and got me. Woke me up. Got me out of the house. I would have been gone. That's the fact. That fire was right under my bedroom."

Foraker's wife was in their basement when the flames broke out. She was alerted when a woman started banging on her front door.

"She didn't even know it until the lady came screaming. And then I guess her and my wife flagged John down," Foraker said.

Foraker's wife didn't want to appear on camera but said she was praying for help when their next-door neighbor rushed in to help. Thanks to their actions, the couple and their two dogs got out safely.

"A lot of people stepped forward yesterday and came out of nowhere -- and I've never met. You know what I mean?" Foraker said.

Foraker, who suffered a bad burn while working in a steel mill over 40 years ago, said the ordeal was stressful. Now, they are putting the pieces back together, working with insurance and restoration companies to figure out the damage. They are incredibly grateful for the love of a community that saved their lives, evening wearing the sweatshirt his neighbor gave him while speaking with the 27 First News crew.

"It's amazing how people will help. It's really amazing. I give a lot of thanks to both of them," Foraker said.

Investigators are still working to find out how the fire started. Right now, the Forakers can't stay in the home. In the meantime, the Red Cross is helping them with everything they need.

No one was injured in the fire.

1616801 2023-09-28T17:27:14+00:00
Semi driver hurt in I-76 crash https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/semi-driver-hurt-in-i-76-crash/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 18:05:12 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1617969 JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKBN) - A semi-truck driver was taken to the hospital following an accident on Interstate 76 Thursday.

It happened near the I-80 interchange just before 1 p.m.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said the truck was traveling on I-76 when it hit a cement pile underneath a bridge for I-80.

According to a trooper, a vehicle cut the truck off and the truck swerved into the bridge.

The driver was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

ODOT engineers inspected the bridge and determined there was no structural damage, according to ODOT spokesperson Ray Marsch.

Interstate 76 eastbound in the area of the accident is down to one lane until the truck can be removed.

Kristen Hephner contributed to this report.

1617969 2023-09-28T18:27:35+00:00
Marshals capture woman who was on the run for 2 months https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/youngstown-news/marshals-capture-woman-who-was-on-the-run-for-2-months/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 15:42:24 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1616459 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) -- A woman who was on the run for almost two months from a Columbiana County correctional facility was found Thursday morning on Youngstown's South Side.

Ashley Croley, 37, was captured by members of the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Fugitive Task Force in the 100 block of East Judson Avenue.

A person who Marshals characterized as an "associate" of Croley, Mark Heath, no age given, was also arrested for obstruction of justice due to actions during Croley's arrest, a news release from the Marshals said.

They were both booked into the Mahoning County Jail.

Heath is expected to be arraigned in municipal court Friday. There is no word when Croley will be sent back to Columbiana County.

Croley has been wanted since Aug. 5, when she is accused of escaping from the Eastern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lisbon. The release said she stole a car and ran over a man's foot while making her getaway.

A Columbiana County grand jury Sept. 15 indicted Croley on charges of escape, a third-degree felony; grand theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony; felonious assault, a second-degree felony; and vehicular assault, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Crowley was booked into the center July 17 on a probation violation for a misdemeanor theft charge. The charge was filed in 2021 by Lisbon police, court records show.

Court records also show Croley has an address on the South Side. She was not arrested Thursday at that address but a short distance away from there.

1616459 2023-09-28T15:42:26+00:00
Halloween Trick or Treat times 2023 https://www.wkbn.com/community/halloween/halloween-trick-or-treat-times/ Wed, 27 Sep 2023 16:35:00 +0000 (WKBN) – Below is a list of Halloween trick-or-treat times in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Mercer and Lawrence counties.

Are we missing something? Submit a Trick or Treat time.

This list will be updated as more communities set their times.


Calcutta: 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

East Liverpool: 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Leetonia: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Lisbon: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Liverpool Township: 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

New Waterford: 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28

Salem City: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Salineville: Parade begins at 5 p.m., immediately followed by Trick-or-Treat until 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 31

St. Clair Township: 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Summitville: 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28

Wellsville: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31


Bessemer Borough: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Ellwood City: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Hickory Township: 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

New Castle: 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28

New Wilmington Borough: 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 (parade to follow)

Plain Grove Township: 5-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Union Township: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Shenango Township: 5-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28


Austintown Township: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Beaver Township: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Boardman: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Canfield City: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Campbell: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Milton Township: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Poland Township: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Sebring Village: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Struthers: 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 31

Youngstown: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31


Freedonia Borough: 4:30-6:30 Tuesday, Oct. 31

Greenville: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21

Grove City Borough: 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31

Mercer Borough: 5-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Sharon: 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Sharpsville Borough: 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Shenango Township: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31


Braceville: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Bristol Township: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Brookfield Township: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Champion: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Cortland: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Fowler Township: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Girard: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Howland: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Hubbard City: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Hubbard Township: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Johnston Township: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Kinsman: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Liberty Township: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Lordstown: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Masury: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Newton Falls: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28

Southington: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Warren City: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

Weathersfield: 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31

More Halloween and Fall events here

185292 2023-09-29T01:59:32+00:00
Local company donates property for new fire station https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/newton-falls-news/local-company-donates-property-for-new-fire-station/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 21:24:44 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618334 NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WKBN) - Plans to build a new station for the Newton Falls Joint Fire District appear to be moving forward.

Fire Chief James Williamson says the Cadle Company donated property to the district for the new fire station. It's currently a parking lot on North Canal Street.

The land is located near one of the district's two fire stations, which is attached to the municipal court.

Williamson says the district's current stations aren't suitable for daily staffing levels and equipment. He says it would also be more financially responsible to have everything under one roof instead of paying for utilities at two stations plus off-site storage.

"My ultimate goal is to make this the gem of Newton Falls, you know, make this very aesthetically pleasing and something where, you know, everybody, make it a focal point of Newton Falls," Williamson said.

Williamson says under the agreement with the Cadle Company, the land will revert back to the company if nothing is done with the property in four years.

1618334 2023-09-28T21:24:46+00:00
'Hope that he rots in hell:' Man sentenced for sex crimes against 3 children https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/warren-news/man-sentenced-for-sex-crimes-against-children/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 16:05:30 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1617772 WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) - An emotional family member addressed the court as a Leavittsburg man was sentenced Thursday for sex crimes against three young girls.

"I hope he spends the rest of his life in jail, and I hope that he rots in hell," the family member of the victims said.

Brian Harvey was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison as a result of his pleas to 15 felony charges, including eight counts of rape, gross sexual imposition and six counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance.

"Mr. Harvey ran a house of horrors in his house. He sexually assaulted these three girls, starting with the two oldest and eventually grooming and perpetrating on the youngest one," said Assistant Prosecutor Gabe Wildman.

Harvey's attorney, Ross Smith, said Harvey is remorseful and has taken responsibility for the crimes.

Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas Judge Cynthia Westcott Rice handed down the sentence, which Wildman said was appropriate.

"Anytime we can get a life sentence for these kids without them having to come in here and testify, that's a good day, so I hope they're happy, and I hope he gets what he deserves as well," he said.

If Harvey is ever released from prison, he will have to register as a Tier 3 sex offender for the rest of his life.

1617772 2023-09-28T20:14:10+00:00
Warren native fed up with worsening violence https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/warren-news/warren-native-fed-up-with-worsening-violence/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 21:14:35 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618217 WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) - A man in Warren is voicing his concerns after his house was hit in a drive-by shooting last night in Warren.

Over a dozen gunshots broke the silence of Brad Fumerola's evening with his family. His security camera video shows him rushing outside his home on the corner of McMyler Street and Ohio Avenue. A bullet went through his window just feet away from where he sat with his wife and 1-year-old grandson.

It's the second shooting in the area in a week. Though the shootings are not related, Fumerola and his family say they're fed up.

"It's just very nerve-wracking, frustrating that people do this to innocent people that have nothing to do with whatever is going on," Fumerola said.

Fumerola grew up in Warren and feels the violence is getting worse and closer to home. He has lived where he is now for a few years but is now considering moving. The events of the past week have left him rattled. He is worried for the neighborhood kids who play in their front yards in the early evening --the same time the shooting happened.

"This is where they come play and at 8 at night, it's not very late. There could have been kids out here," Frumerola said. "Things can be settled a different way than shooting, driving down the street and just opening fire."

1618217 2023-09-28T21:14:37+00:00
Person shot in car in Youngstown on South Side https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/youngstown-news/person-shot-in-car-in-youngstown-on-south-side/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 08:38:29 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1617355 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) - A shooting has sent one person to the hospital on Youngstown's South Side.

This shooting happened just after midnight Thursday on Miller Avenue, near the intersection of South Avenue.

Youngstown police said a car was shot at, and a person inside was hit. The victim was shot in the back and taken to the hospital.

Police say the victim is in stable condition.

No arrests have been made at this time. This shooting is still under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the YPD tip line or Crime Stoppers at 330-746-CLUE or 330-746-8YPD 

1617355 2023-09-28T12:21:35+00:00
Attorney lining up psychologist in Warren capital murder case https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/warren-news/attorney-lining-up-psychologist-in-warren-capital-murder-case/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 21:42:55 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618357 WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) - The attorney representing Dominic Harvey in his capital murder case says she's in the process of obtaining a psychologist for the defense.

Harvey is charged with aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, tampering with evidence and receiving stolen property in connection to a July 21, 2022, shooting on West Market Street in Warren.

Jauton Lee was killed in the shooting, and a 24-year-old man was hurt.

Harvey is now scheduled to stand trial on January 16. He's due back in court for another pre-trial hearing on November 27.

1618357 2023-09-28T21:43:48+00:00
Michael Gambon, veteran actor who played Dumbledore in 'Harry Potter' films, dies at age 82 https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-michael-gambon-actor-who-played-prof-dumbledore-in-6-harry-potter-movies-dies-at-age-82/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 19:05:21 +0000 LONDON (AP) — Michael Gambon, the Irish-born actor knighted for his illustrious career on the stage and screen and who went on to gain admiration from a new generation of moviegoers with his portrayal of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight “Harry Potter” films, has died. He was 82.

The actor died on Wednesday following “a bout of pneumonia," his publicist, Clair Dobbs, said Thursday.

“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon. Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside,” his family said in a statement.

While the Potter role raised Gambon’s international profile and found him a huge audience, he had long been celebrated as one of Britain’s leading actors. His work spanned TV, theater, film and radio, and over the decades he starred in dozens of movies from “Gosford Park” and “The King’s Speech” to the animated family film “Paddington.” He recently appeared in the Judy Garland biopic “Judy,” released in 2019.

Gambon was knighted for his contribution to the entertainment industry in 1998.

The role of the much loved Professor Dumbledore was initially played by another Irish-born actor, Richard Harris. When Harris died in 2002, after two of the films in the franchise had been made, Gambon took over and played the part from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” through to “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2.”

He once acknowledged not having read any of J. K Rowling’s best-selling books, arguing that it was safer to follow the script rather than be too influenced by the books. That didn't prevent him from embodying the spirit of the powerful wizard who fought against evil to protect his students.

Co-stars often described Gambon as a mischievous, funny man who was self-deprecating about his talent. Actress Helen Mirren fondly remembered his “natural Irish sense of humor — naughty but very, very funny."

Fiona Shaw, who played Petunia Dursley in the “Harry Potter” series, recalled Gambon telling her how central acting was to his life.

“He did once say to me in a car ‘I know I go on a lot about this and that, but actually, in the end, there is only acting’,” Shaw told the BBC on Thursday. “I think he was always pretending that he didn’t take it seriously, but he took it profoundly seriously.”

Irish President Michael D. Higgins paid tribute to Gambon's “exceptional talent,” praising him as “one of the finest actors of his generation."

Born in Dublin on Oct. 19, 1940, Gambon was raised in London and originally trained as an engineer, following in the footsteps of his father. He did not have formal drama training, and was said to have started work in the theater as a set builder. He made his theater debut in a production of “Othello” in Dublin.

In 1963 he got his first big break with a minor role in “Hamlet,” the National Theatre Company’s opening production, under the directorship of the legendary Laurence Olivier.

Gambon soon became a distinguished stage actor and received critical acclaim for his leading performance in “Life of Galileo,” directed by John Dexter. He was frequently nominated for awards and won the Laurence Olivier Award 3 times and the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards twice.

A multi-talented actor, Gambon was also the recipient of four coveted British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards for his television work.

He became a household name in Britain after his lead role in the 1986 BBC TV series “The Singing Detective,” written by Dennis Potter and considered a classic of British television drama. Gambon won the BAFTA for best actor for the role.

Gambon also won Emmy nominations for more recent television work — as Mr. Woodhouse in a 2010 adaption of Jane Austen's “Emma,” and as former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in 2002's “Path to War."

Gambon was versatile as an actor but once told the BBC he preferred to play “villainous characters.” He played gangster Eddie Temple in the British crime thriller “Layer Cake" — a review of the film by the New York Times referred to Gambon as “reliably excellent" — and a Satanic crime boss in Peter Greenaway's “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.”

He also had a part as King George V in the 2010 drama film “The King’s Speech.” In 2015 he returned to the works of J.K. Rowling, taking a leading role in the TV adaptation of her non-Potter book “The Casual Vacancy.”

“I absolutely loved working with him,” Rowling posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The first time I ever laid eyes on him was in ‘King Lear’, in 1982, and if you’d told me then that brilliant actor would appear in anything I’d written, I’d have thought you were insane.”

Gambon retired from the stage in 2015 after struggling to remember his lines in front of an audience due to his advancing age. He once told the Sunday Times Magazine: “It’s a horrible thing to admit, but I can’t do it. It breaks my heart.”

Gambon was always protective when it came to his private life. He married Anne Miller and they had one son, Fergus. He later had two sons with set designer Philippa Hart.

1617468 2023-09-28T19:06:48+00:00
OSHP: Car knocks down pole and power lines, driver leaves scene https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/beaver-township-news/downed-power-lines-shut-down-road-in-mahoning-county/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 11:12:55 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1617433 BEAVER TWP., Ohio (WKBN)- Downed power lines and a downed pole temporarily closed a portion of state Route 164 Thursday morning.

The area between Routes 165 and 14 in Beaver Township was closed shortly before 6:30 a.m. The area is now back open.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) said one vehicle crashed into a tree, hitting a utility pole. Troopers said that the driver fled the area. Later in the morning, troopers said the driver of a semi-truck did not see the pole and wires, so the semi hit the pole and wires and knocked them onto the road.

Over 60 people are without power in Mahoning County, according to FirstEnergy. According to its website, power is expected to be restored by 11:30 a.m.

OSHP is still investigating.

Brian Oehlbeck contributed to this report.

1617433 2023-09-28T13:56:49+00:00
Popular 70s jazz-rock group to play local college https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/new-wilmington-news/popular-70s-jazz-rock-group-to-play-local-college/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 14:42:22 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1617645 NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (WKBN) - The 70s jazz/rock band Blood, Sweat and Tears will play Westminster College this fall.

The show is set for Thursday, Oct. 12 in the Will W. Orr Auditorium.

Some top singles from the band include "God Bless This Child," "Spinning Wheel," and "You've Made Me So Very Happy."

The band also received a Grammy for album of the year in the 1970s, beating out The Beatles' "Abbey Road."

Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Celebrity Series Box Office at 724-946-7354 or visiting www.westminster.edu/celebrity.

The concert is part of Westminster College's "Celebrity Series."

1617645 2023-09-28T14:42:23+00:00
Why the Cleveland Browns won't be on TV in Youngstown this week https://www.wkbn.com/sports/why-the-cleveland-browns-wont-be-on-tv-in-youngstown-this-week/ Wed, 27 Sep 2023 17:33:39 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1616220 YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – We have received questions regarding the NFL schedule this Sunday on WKBN.

Due to the NFL contract with CBS, WKBN must show the 1 p.m. game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Texans this Sunday, October 1, and cannot show the 1 p.m. game between the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.

Under the NFL/CBS contract terms, both the Steelers and Browns claim Youngstown as a "secondary" home market.

The team that plays "away" automatically becomes the mandatory team. If they are both away or both at home, CBS would be able to pick whichever game is believed to deliver the largest audience.

Airing the Steelers game and not the Browns game is ultimately fulfilling that contract and was not a decision made on any level at WKBN.

1616220 2023-09-27T17:33:41+00:00
Sentencing set for Ellsworth man in goat roaming case https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/ellsworth-news/sentencing-set-for-ellsworth-man-in-goat-roaming-case/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 17:53:23 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1617943 SEBRING, Ohio (WKBN) - Two animal cases against an Ellsworth Township man are going to be handled at the same time.

Robert Stare of Elsworth Township faces sentencing November 9 after pleading guilty in Sebring court to four counts of having animals running at-large after a May 2023 incident where sheriff's deputies found dozens of his goats running around, several of the animals were stuck in his electric fence.

Stare went on trial on two counts of animal cruelty, stemming from the same incident. Judge Joe Schiavone took that matter under advisement and will sentence stare on all the charges on the same date.

Stare still has another pending case in connection to an incident earlier this month, when two goats were seized from his property.

1617943 2023-09-28T17:53:24+00:00
Cafe to open in former Zoup! space in Boardman https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/boardman-news/cafe-to-open-in-former-zoup-space-in-boardman/ Wed, 27 Sep 2023 18:54:06 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1616498 BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) - The old Zoup! location on US-224 has a new tenant.

Frank's Cafe manager David Smith said they are opening a second location inside the former Zoup! space on US-224 in Boardman, right next to One Hot Cookie.

Smith said they just signed the lease and will be making some changes to the space before opening.

This new location will have the same breakfast and lunch menu and will most likely keep the same hours as the original location on Market Street.

The new Frank's Cafe location should be open in a few months.

1616498 2023-09-27T18:54:08+00:00
Francona's beloved scooter stolen, stripped as Cleveland's manager gets ready to say goodbye to game https://www.wkbn.com/sports/franconas-beloved-scooter-stolen-stripped-as-clevelands-manager-gets-ready-to-say-goodbye-to-game/ Wed, 27 Sep 2023 22:24:03 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1616849 CLEVELAND (AP) — Terry Francona won't be riding off on his beloved scooter after all.

Just hours before his final home game as Cleveland's manager, Francona revealed that the motorized scooter he has ridden to and from Progressive Field for the past several seasons was stolen for the second time.

“The hog has been officially put on ice,” Francona said before Wednesday night's game against the Cincinnati Reds. “It got stolen again, but this time they stripped it.”

Francona said the two-wheeled vehicle was taken about 10 days ago. It was stolen in January but recovered by police.

“Been in mourning,” he said. “They got it in the clubhouse under a blanket. Looks like they took a baseball bat to it."

The 64-year-old rented an electric scooter over the weekend, but the ride wasn't the same. He hit a pothole and crashed.

“I went over the handlebars,” he said, “I mean over. It’s amazing how much you can see of your life in that moment.”

Jokes aside, and it’s fitting Francona’s finale includes some one-liners, the last home game in 2023 is a bittersweet celebration as the Guardians honor the winningest manager in their club’s 123-year history.

Although he hasn't officially announced his retirement, Francona is expected to do so formally early next week.

“The worst kept secret ever,” Francona joked Tuesday.

Francona didn’t want a special ceremony for his final home game, but he relented to the team handing out 20,000 “Thank You Tito” T-shirts. There will also be a video tribute to Francona played on the scoreboard shortly before the first pitch.

“The most frustrating part is I can’t wear the T-shirt because it’s me,” Francona joked. “I mean, it’s a nice T-shirt. I love it when we get free stuff, but I can’t wear it.”

Francona has battled serious health issues in recent years and wants to move on before the game beats him up further.

It's time.

“It got harder,” he said. “That’s why I’m going to shut it down. ... I’m going to go get my body patched up again for about the 80th time and I’m going to try to go get healthy and I’m in no rush.”

Francona insisted upon keeping the spotlight on his players during the season's final month and spoke with them Tuesday so they weren't caught off-guard by anything in their final days together.

“I just wanted to thank them,” he said. “I told them in spring training, it’s an honor for me to stand up in front of them and go through not just the good, but the difficult, and I wanted everybody in that room to know that I felt like it was an honor of a lifetime to be here for 11 years.”

He's been a beloved figure in Cleveland.

Francona's teams were always in the playoff hunt despite having one of baseball's lowest payrolls. In 2016, the team came within one swing of winning their first World Series since 1948 before losing in seven games to the Chicago Cubs.

Francona said his run in Cleveland was everything he hoped. However, this season felt different for many reasons, and he spoke to team president Chris Antonetti and general manager Mike Chernoff about his future to give them time to begin a search for his successor.

He won't give input on Cleveland's next manager.

"I don’t think that’s fair,” he said. “For 11 years I’ve been doing this the way I think is right. I don’t think that’s fair to them or to the next person to try to put my stamp on it. There might be somebody comes in completely 180 degrees different and it might be better. That’s the beauty of our game.”

It won't be easy to replace Francona, who played 10 seasons before beginning his managerial career with Philadelphia in 1997.

The Guardians will finish their season in Detroit with a three-game series starting Friday.

1616849 2023-09-27T22:24:04+00:00
Hundreds lose power in Mahoning, Trumbull counties https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/hundreds-without-power-in-mahoning-trumbull-counties/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 09:03:47 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1617369 (WKBN)- More than 700 First Energy customers in Mahoning County were without power Thursday morning.

The majority of those outages were from Goshen Township and Berlin Township. At one point, more than 1,900 people were without power in the county.

There were over 100 power outages in Trumbull County, with the majority of them being in Warren.

First Energy is still looking into what caused the outages.

Power was restored shortly before 6:30 a.m.

1617369 2023-09-28T10:29:19+00:00
Hawaii authorities search for man with handgun he gets into scuffle on Army base and flees https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-hawaii-army-base-under-lockdown-after-man-flees-with-handgun-no-shots-fired/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 04:35:13 +0000 HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii authorities were looking for a man who fled with a handgun after getting into a scuffle while trying to talk to soldiers at an Army base on Thursday, officials said.

No shots were fired but the Army treated it as an “active shooter situation” and two military bases on Oahu went into lockdown for several hours, said Michael Donnelly, a spokesperson for U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii.

The Army issued a shelter-in-place order for Schofield Barracks, which was later lifted. The Army was working with the Honolulu Police Department to find the suspect, who was still at large, Donnelly said.

The Army said the man was 5 feet, 10 inches (177 centimeters) tall, wearing an aloha shirt and jeans and had a mohawk-type haircut.

The man was last seen near the Schofield commissary on a bike.

He was “trying to allegedly talk with soldiers,” Donnelly said. “I don’t know if he was bartering or selling stuff, but someone confronted him, and they got into a scuffle. There was a handgun witnessed, visible.”

Neighboring Wheeler Army Airfield also went into lockdown, as did two public schools on Schofield: Daniel K. Inouye Elementary and Solomon Elementary. The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m., as children were leaving for the day, and staff, students and parents were secured indoors.

Schofield Barracks is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Honolulu. It hosts the 25th Infantry Division and the 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

Wheeler Army Airfield, just next door, is home to the Hawaii Air National Guard and the headquarters for U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii.

About 60,000 people are on Schofield, including soldiers, civilians, workers, contractors and families. Combined with Wheeler, the population is more than 90,000.

Navy issues written reprimands for fuel spill that sickened 6,000 people at Pearl Harbor base https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-navy-issues-written-reprimands-for-fuel-spill-that-sickened-6000-people-at-pearl-harbor-base/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 03:59:31 +0000 HONOLULU (AP) — The Navy on Thursday issued written reprimands to three now-retired military officers for their roles in the spill of jet fuel into Pearl Harbor’s drinking water in 2021 but did not fire, suspend, dock the pay or reduce the rank of anyone for the incident.

The spill from the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility poisoned thousands of military families and continues to threaten the purity of Honolulu’s water supply.

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro issued censure letters to the three rear admirals, the Navy said in a news release. He also revoked personal military decorations awarded to five rear admirals, three captains and one commander.

“Taking accountability is a step in restoring trust in our relationship with the community,” Del Toro said in a statement.

The spill “was not acceptable,” and the Navy will continue "to take every action to identify and remedy this issue," he said.

A Navy investigation last year concluded a series of errors caused the fuel to leak into a well that supplied water to housing and offices in and around Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. About 6,000 people suffered nausea, headaches, rashes and other symptoms.

The investigation concluded operator error caused a pipe to rupture when fuel was being transferred between tanks on May 6, 2021, leading 21,000 gallons (80,000 liters) to spill. Most of this liquid flowed into a fire suppression line and sat there for six months, causing the line to sag. A cart then rammed into the drooping line on Nov. 20, releasing 20,000 gallons (75,700 liters) of fuel that entered a French drain and the drinking water well.

The spill came even though the Navy for years reassured Oahu residents their water was safe despite Red Hill's history of leaks, including when 27,000 gallons (102,206 liters) seeped from one tank.

The water poisoning upset people across Hawaii, including veterans, environmentalists, Native Hawaiians, liberals and conservatives.

Wayne Tanaka, director of the Sierra Club of Hawaii, called the reprimands “outrageous” considering the damage done and the ongoing threat the leak poses to an aquifer underneath the tanks.

“Just to have these written slaps on the wrist is insulting to our people, to our dignity,” Tanaka said.

After months of resistance, the military agreed to an order from the state of Hawaii to drain the World War II-era tanks. It has spent the past year repairing equipment at the facility to safely remove the fuel beginning next month. It expects to finish by Jan. 19.

Three officers received letters of censure from Del Toro: Retired Rear Adm. Peter Stamatopoulos, who was the commander of Naval Supply Systems Command during the May and November spills; Rear Adm. (retired) John Korka, who was commander of the Navy Facilities Engineering Command Pacific before the two spills; and Rear Adm. (retired) Timothy Kott, who was the commander of Navy Region Hawaii during the November spill.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii, said in a statement that true accountability for the disaster would require the Navy to address “systemic command and control failures, and a lack of requisite attention to infrastructure.”

She noted the Navy's investigation found that a culture of complacency, a lack of critical thinking, and a lack of timely communication contributed to the spill.

"I have yet to see adequate evidence that Navy leadership is treating these service-wide issues with the seriousness or urgency they demand,” Hirono said in a statement.

Hirono, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said she would continue pushing the Navy to make these systemic changes.

1618606 2023-09-29T04:01:58+00:00
Montgomery runs wild as Lions beat Packers 34-20 https://www.wkbn.com/sports/montgomery-runs-wild-as-lions-beat-packers-34-20/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 03:41:01 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618701 GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — David Montgomery rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns, and the Detroit Lions asserted themselves as the team to beat in the NFC North, dominating the first half and beating the Green Bay Packers 34-20 on Thursday night.

Montgomery carried the ball 32 times after he sat out the Lions' victory over Atlanta last Sunday with a thigh bruise. He became the first Lion to rush for three touchdowns at Green Bay and the first Detroit player to top 100 yards rushing with three TDs since James Stewart in 2000.

The Lions (3-1) beat the Packers (2-2) for a fourth straight time, a streak that also includes the final game of last season, when Detroit denied Green Bay a playoff spot in Aaron Rodgers' last game with the Packers.

Rodgers' replacement, Jordan Love, threw for a touchdown and ran for another as he tried to rally the Packers in the second half. He went 23 of 36 for 246 yards and was picked off twice by Jerry Jacobs.

Detroit led 27-3 at halftime and had outgained Green Bay 284 yards to 21 as the half ended with boos from the crowd. It was the Lions' highest-scoring first half against the Packers in the series' 188-game history.

1618701 2023-09-29T03:41:02+00:00
A man is shot and wounded as tempers flare in New Mexico over the statue of a Spanish conquistador https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-man-shot-and-wounded-at-new-mexico-protest-over-installation-of-spanish-conquistador-statue/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 03:19:14 +0000 ESPANOLA, N.M. (AP) — Chaos erupted Thursday as a gunshot rang out during a protest in northern New Mexico where officials had planned to install a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate, an event that county officials had already postponed anticipating that tempers would flare.

One man was struck by the gunfire and rushed to the hospital as Rio Arriba County sheriff’s officials took the suspected shooter, 23-year-old Ryan Martinez, into custody. Authorities said they were not currently seeking any other suspects in connection with the shooting.

Oñate has been a controversial figure in New Mexico's history for generations, with activists targeting the statue and other likenesses of the Spaniard for his oppressive and sometimes brutal treatment of Native Americans during his country's conquest of what is now the Southwestern United States. Some Hispanics have pointed to the statue as a symbol of their heritage.

Although the county had postponed the installation of the statue the previous day because of public safety concerns, people still turned out.

Protesters arrived Tuesday and pitched tents. They placed offerings on and around the empty pedestal to Oñate: pottery, corn stalks, votive candles, a basket of vegetables. Banners read, “not today Oñate,” and “celebrate resistance not conquistadores.”

The man who would later draw and fire a gun used profanity in arguments with protesters and was told by law enforcement officers to leave. Video captured by onlookers showed the man jumping a short wall and heading toward the crowd as others grabbed him.

One person yelled, “Hey, hey, hey. Let him go!” as he broke free and jumped back over the wall. That's when he pulled a gun from his waistband and fired a single shot before running off. Screaming ensued.

One person could be heard saying, “Help me! Help me!” and “I can’t breathe.”

The shooting occurred just outside the doors of county offices, which include sheriff offices. More than 20 law enforcement vehicles responded, crowding an Española city roadway that overlooks the Upper Rio Grande Valley.

The wounded man, whose name was not immediately released by authorities, was shot in the upper torso and was being treated at a local hospital, authorities said.

Authorities said a motive for the shooting was unclear.

“Once again, the saddest part about this is we have another incident of gun violence,” county Sheriff Billy Merrifield said at a brief news conference.

Merrifield said he expressed concerns about safety issues to county commissioners about reinstalling the statue in Española outside the county building. He said he was grateful to commissioners who decided against putting up the statue.

He declined to take any questions, saying New Mexico State Police were handling the crime scene and the investigation.

State police didn't immediately respond to emails or phone calls Thursday night from The Associated Press seeking any information about the condition of the victim or any charges that had been filed or were pending in connection with the shooting. A dispatcher who wasn't authorized to release any information said additional details were expected to be released later Thursday night or Friday.

Jennifer Marley, of San Ildefonso Pueblo, an organizer for the Native American rights group The Red Nation, said the shooting took place within view of the county sheriff’s department building but without any officers on site to intervene.

“It was awful. This was a peaceful call to action. We were there to celebrate the fact that the statue was not going up,” she said.

She described Oñate’s legacy as one of genocidal violence. “It’s really ironic, I was basically saying that this violence is ongoing ... even when we are being peaceful and prayerful. The shooting began while I was speaking.”

The shooting happened on the day the New Mexico Department of Health released a report on gunshot victims treated at New Mexico’s hospitals. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham commissioned the report earlier this month, alongside issuing a public health order that temporarily suspended gun rights in the Albuquerque area over recent gun violence.

A federal judge blocked aspects of it while a flurry of lawsuits alleging violations of constitutional rights played out.

According to the report, there was a 16% increase in patients admitted to intensive care units for firearm injuries between 2019 and 2022. Gunshot victims transferred from emergency departments to operating rooms increased by 61% over the same time frame.

The report also noted that deaths from firearm injuries between 2017 and 2021 increased among Hispanics, non-Hispanic Native Americans and non-Hispanic Black populations.

Tony Ortega, a 78-year-old retired technician who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, said he was glad to hear the county planned to put the Oñate statue back on public display as a symbol of local Hispanic pride. But he said he knew it would cause trouble.

“I knew this was going to be a problem. Native Americans don’t want it,” Ortega said. “They think Oñate was a bad person more or less.”

Oñate, who arrived in present-day New Mexico in 1598, is celebrated as a cultural father figure in communities along the Upper Rio Grande that trace their ancestry to Spanish settlers. But he is also reviled for his brutality.

To Native Americans, Oñate is known for having ordered the right feet cut off of 24 captive tribal warriors after his soldiers stormed the Acoma Pueblo’s mesa-top “sky city.” That attack was precipitated by the killing of Onate’s nephew.

In 1998, someone sawed the right foot off the statue of Oñate near Española, where it had been on display until it was taken down in 2020 amid a national movement for racial justice that sought to topple countless monuments.

A likeness of Oñate among a caravan of Spanish colonists set in bronze outside an Albuquerque city museum also drew protests in 2020 that resulted in it being taken down.

Rio Arriba County Commission Chairman Alex Naranjo, a Democratic former magistrate judge and school board member, said he is still committed to returning the statue to public display. He said the bronze likeness and companion cultural center in the nearby community of Alcalde was commissioned at a cost of more than $1 million in county, state and federal funding, in a project championed by his uncle Emilio Naranjo as a state senator and public figures including former Gov. Bill Richardson.

He blamed Thursday's confrontations on “disrespectful” protesters from beyond the Española Valley, though many protesters Thursday cited local Native American ties.

“To me it’s a matter of principle,” said Naranjo, who traces his ancestry to Spanish settlers who arrived in the late-1500s. “I don’t question anybody who disagrees with me as long as they do it in a respectful, cordial way.”


Associated Press writers Terry Tang and Walter Berry in Phoenix and Christopher L. Keller and Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque contributed to this story.

1618486 2023-09-29T03:22:46+00:00
New California law raises minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 per hour, among nation's highest https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-california-gov-gavin-newsom-signs-law-to-raise-minimum-wage-for-fast-food-workers-to-20-per-hour/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 02:59:45 +0000 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A new law in California will raise the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 per hour next year, an acknowledgment from the state's Democratic leaders that most of the often overlooked workforce are the primary earners for their low-income households.

When it takes effect on April 1, fast food workers in California will have the highest guaranteed base salary in the industry. The state’s minimum wage for all other workers — $15.50 per hour — is already among the highest in the United States.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law Thursday amid a throng of cheering workers and labor leaders at an event in Los Angeles. Newsom dismissed the popular view that fast food jobs are meant for teenagers to have their first experience in the workforce.

“That's a romanticized version of a world that doesn't exist,” Newsom said. “We have the opportunity to reward that contribution, reward that sacrifice and stabilize an industry.”

Newsom’s signature reflects the power and influence of labor unions in the nation’s most populous state, which have worked to organize fast food workers in an attempt to improve their wages and working conditions.

It also settles — for now, at least — a fight between labor and business groups over how to regulate the industry. In exchange for higher pay, labor unions have dropped their attempt to make fast food corporations liable for the misdeeds of their independent franchise operators in California, an action that could have upended the business model on which the industry is based. The industry, meanwhile, has agreed to pull a referendum related to worker wages off the 2024 ballot.

“That was a tectonic plate that had to be moved,” Newsom said, referring to what he said were the more than 100 hours of negotiations it took to reach an agreement on the bills in the final weeks of the state legislative session.

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union International, said the law capped 10 years of work — including 450 strikes across the state in the past two years.

The moment was almost too much for Anneisha Williams, who held back tears as she spoke during a news conference just before Newsom signed the bill. Williams, a mother of six — seven if you count her beloved dog — works at a Jack in the Box restaurant in Inglewood.

“They’ve been with me on the picket line, and they’ve been marching with me as well,” Williams said of her children. “This is for them.”

Newsom signing the law could win back some favor with organized labor, who sharply criticized him last week for vetoing a separate bill aimed at protecting the jobs of truck drivers amid the rise of self-driving technology. Unions have played a big part in Newsom's political rise in California, offering a reliable source of campaign cash.

Newsom’s appearance in Los Angeles comes a day after Republican presidential candidates – but not Donald Trump – appeared at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley for their second televised debate. Newsom, while denying any interest in a White House run, has positioned himself as a foil to GOP contenders and has traveled the country to criticize conservative positions on abortion and gun rights. His actions on hundreds of bills before him may be viewed through the lens of his future political ambitions.

The new minimum wage for fast food workers will apply to restaurants with at least 60 locations nationwide, with an exception for restaurants that make and sell their own bread, like Panera Bread.

Right now, California’s fast food workers earn an average of $16.60 per hour, or just over $34,000 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s below the California Poverty Measure for a family of four, a statistic calculated by the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Equality that accounts for housing costs and publicly-funded benefits.

The new $20 minimum wage is just a starting point. The law creates a Fast Food Council that has the power to increase that wage each year through 2029 by 3.5% or the change in averages for the U.S. Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers, whichever is lower.

Now, the focus will shift to another group of low-wage California workers waiting for their own minimum wage increase. Lawmakers passed a separate bill earlier this month that would gradually raise the minimum wage for health care workers to $25 per hour over the next decade. That raise wouldn’t apply to doctors and nurses, but to most everyone else who works at hospitals, dialysis clinics or other health care facilities.

But unlike the fast food wage increase — which Newsom helped negotiate — the governor has not said if he would sign the raise for health care workers. The issue is complicated by the state’s Medicaid program, which is the main source of revenue for many hospitals. The Newsom administration has estimated the wage increase would cost the state billions of dollars in increased payments to health care providers.

Labor unions that support the wage increase point to a study from the University of California-Berkeley Labor Center that said the state’s costs would be offset by a reduction in the number of people relying on publicly funded assistance programs.


Associated Press reporter Michael R. Blood contributed from Los Angeles.

1617950 2023-09-29T03:02:35+00:00
Lakeview wins sixth straight, stays unbeaten https://www.wkbn.com/sports/lakeview-wins-sixth-straight-stays-unbeaten/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 02:23:34 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618626 STONEBORO, Pa. (WKBN) - Lakeview (PA) pushed their unbeaten streak to six games for the first time in school history after a 20-12 win over Cochranton.

View extended highlights from the Sailors' win in the video above.

The Sailors scored all three of their touchdowns in the first half, with quarterback Leyton Zacherl tossing two scores both on fourth down.

Lakeview wide receiver Clarence Barber hauled in the first score from 19 yards out and Danick Hinkson's highlight reel touchdown catch came on a 4th and 13 in the second quarter.

Right before the score to make it 20-6 Lakeview, Hinkson picked off a Cardinal pass as Cochranton was threatening in the red zone.

With the win, Lakeview remains undefeated at 6-0 on the season and will next travel to Cambridge Springs (5-0) in a game that could decide who controls their own destiny in District 10, Region 1.

1618626 2023-09-29T02:24:20+00:00
Schwarber homers, but Pirates top Phillies 3-2 https://www.wkbn.com/sports/schwarber-homers-but-pirates-top-phillies-3-2/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 02:10:48 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618635 PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kyle Schwarber went deep, Bryce Harper went off on an umpire and was ejected and Trea Turner went from second to home on a stolen base in the Philadelphia Phillies' 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night.

Schwarber launched his 46th homer, matching last year's NL-leading total, with a first-inning drive into the second deck. Turner stole third base in the eighth and came around to score on a wild throw by catcher Jason Delay that made it 3-2.

But the fireworks in the regular-season home finale came when Harper seemingly held his swing on a full count against Luis L. Ortiz in the fourth inning. Harper started to remove his shin guard when third base umpire Ángel Hernández called out the slugger. Harper became enraged and pointed and shouted at Hernandez as he walked down the baseline.

Harper pointed his finger in Hernández’s face and had to be separated by manager Rob Thomson, then stormed back to the dugout and tossed his helmet over the protective netting and into the stands.

The helmet was recovered by 10-year-old Hayden Dorfman, of Voorhees, New Jersey. The helmet was retrieved by team personnel and later returned to the child signed by Harper.


Zack Wheeler struck out five and threw 67 pitches over four innings in his final tune-up before he gets the ball Tuesday in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series. The 33-year-old Wheeler has lived up to his $118 million, five-year contract signed ahead of the 2020 season. He’s been a rock atop the rotation and made 30-plus starts for the second straight season. Wheeler was the 2021 NL Cy Young Award runner-up, the first of his two seasons (along with 2023) he reached 200 strikeouts.

“What a great contract,” Thomson said ahead of the game. “Really, what he’s given us, all the wins, all the innings he’s logged over that time, all the big games that he’s pitched, he’s been worth every penny.”


Wheeler allowed one run on a breezy, chilly night at Citizens Bank Park when the Phillies drew 34,046 fans to push their final home total to 3,052,605, easily their highest season total since they last drew 3 million fans in 2013.

The Phillies finished 49-32 at home and have at least two more in Philly next week. They won six straight playoff games at home last season until they lost Game 4 of the World Series. Thomson fondly recalls how an opposing coach told him playing a postseason game at CBP was “four hours of hell.”

Thomson also knows a good day at the ballpark means more than watching a Schwarbomb or Harper do something amazing. It's about feeling like part of the Phillies community, one reason Thomson said thank you to team employees in the hours after the team clinched the wild card. It's why Thomson thanked gameday employees at a ballpark appreciation picnic earlier this month.

“I think it takes everybody in this building and everybody in (Florida) to do what we’re doing to reach the playoffs,” Thomson said. “Part of the deal with our fanbase is that not only do we have a good club, so it’s good to watch, but they have a good time in the ballpark. It's really due to their hospitality that these people come in here, they have a good time, they watch a good product and they cheer. It’s like a team within the team. I think it’s important to thank everybody.”


Jared Triolo had two RBIs and Jack Suwinski added a run-scoring single for the Pirates. Ortiz (5-5) struck out four in five innings.

David Bednar worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth for his 38th save in 41 chances.

Matt Strahm (9-5) took the loss.


Phillies public address announcer Dan Baker says he plans to return next year for his 52nd season with the team. Baker, who does not count the COVID-19 2020 season when a cancer battle forced him to step away, as part of his total, wants to set the record for most years as a PA announcer for one team. Baker is behind only the Chicago Cubs’ Pat Piper (1916-1974) and the New York Yankees’ Bob Sheppard (1951-2007).


The Pirates close the season with a three-game home series against the Marlins. Neither team has named a starter for any game.

The Phillies get in their final tune-up before the postseason when they head to New York for a three-game series. The Phillies send RHP Taijuan Walker (15-5, 4.35 ERA) to the mound. The Mets did not name a starter.

1618635 2023-09-29T02:10:49+00:00
California man accused of killing mother with fentanyl: police https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/california-man-accused-of-killing-mother-with-fentanyl-police/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 01:37:09 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/nexstar-media-wire/california-man-accused-of-killing-mother-with-fentanyl-police/ SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Police said a San Jose man intentionally poisoned his mother with fentanyl and caused her death. Bradley Dexter, 40, was booked into a Santa Clara County jail this week on suspicion of homicide, poisoning, and elder abuse.

Dexter's mother was found dead inside a home on June 6. A sheriff's coroner later classified the woman's death as a homicide, and her cause of death was determined to be an "intentional fentanyl poisoning," San Jose Police Department Officer Steve Aponte wrote.

"SJPD Homicide Detectives then began a comprehensive and thorough investigation into this incident and identified Bradley Dexter, a resident of San Jose and adult son of the victim, as the potential suspect," Aponte wrote.

Earlier this month, police discovered that Dexter was also responsible for a violent attack against his father. The father suffered serious injuries. Police did not say when or where the father was assaulted.

Patrol officers arrested Dexter on Sept. 25. The motive and circumstances surrounding the deadly poisoning are still under investigation, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Barragan #4106 or Det. Van Brande #4542 of the SJPD's Homicide Unit by calling (408) 277-5283.

There have been 28 homicides in San Jose this year.

Comer subpoenas Hunter Biden's bank records https://www.wkbn.com/hill-politics/comer-subpoenas-hunter-bidens-bank-records/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 00:50:26 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/hill-politics/comer-subpoenas-hunter-bidens-bank-records/ House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) announced Thursday that he issued long-promised subpoenas for the personal and business bank records of President Biden's son Hunter Biden as part of the House GOP's impeachment inquiry into the president.

Comer also subpoenaed the bank records of President Biden's brother James Biden and Hunter Biden associate Eric Schwerin.

“From day one of our investigation of Joe Biden’s abuse of public office, we’ve followed the money and that continues with today’s subpoenas for Hunter and James Biden’s bank records. Bank records don’t lie, and coupled with witness testimony, they reveal that Joe Biden abused his public office for his family’s financial gain,” Comer wrote in a press release announcing the subpoenas. 

Comer’s subpoenas come after a rocky first hearing in the impeachment inquiry of President Biden. At the end of the hearing, Comer announced his intention to issue the subpoenas in an effort to find any potential evidence connecting the president to the business dealings of his son. 

"Today I will subpoena the bank records of Hunter Biden, James Biden and their affiliated companies," Comer said at the end of the hearing, describing the subpoenas as the "next step of this investigation."

In the official notification of the subpoena, Comer outlined the concern, without offering additional substantive evidence, that members of the Biden family “sought to conceal the source of foreign income by having lucrative wires sent to Biden associates' accounts instead of their own bank accounts.”

Comer said he hopes the bank records will reveal “where the foreign money was finally sent.”

“The subpoenaed bank records will help the Committees determine whether Joe Biden abused his office by selling access and/or by receiving payments or other benefits in exchange for official acts, which is a critical aspect of the Committees' impeachment inquiry,” the notification read.

The House Oversight Committee, House Judiciary Committee and House Ways and Means Committee were tasked by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) with opening an impeachment inquiry into President Biden.

Hours before the subpoenas were issued, the Republican-led committees held the first hearing of the impeachment inquiry of the president. The hearing struggled to find its footing as Republicans largely stressed the need for an impeachment inquiry in order to determine whether there are grounds for impeachment.

Democrats, on the other hand, noted that House Republicans have not produced any evidence hinting to wrongdoing by President Biden and that lawmakers should be focusing instead on the looming government shutdown.

This story was updated at 9:40 pm.

1618575 2023-09-29T02:32:49+00:00
Louisiana citrus farmers are seeing a mass influx of salt water that could threaten seedlings https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-louisiana-citrus-farmers-are-seeing-a-mass-influx-of-salt-water-that-could-threaten-seedlings/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 00:35:10 +0000 BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Commercial citrus growers have dwindled over the past few decades in south Louisiana, where farmers have had to battle hurricanes, flooding, invasive insects, freezes and drought to keep their groves alive.

The latest hurdle comes from a slow-moving threat — a mass influx of salt water from the Gulf of Mexico that is creeping up the drought-stricken Mississippi River. Not only is the saltwater intrusion threatening drinking water supplies for communities, but it can also kill citrus seedlings.

The issue is forcing farmers to brainstorm other ways to irrigate their crops with fresh water — including storing the little rain water they’ve gotten this summer, hauling in fresh water and establishing makeshift salination treatment facilities. Some are looking into whether they can afford, let alone get their hands on, an expensive reverse-osmosis machine.

“They’re going to have something up their sleeve. They know how to survive, but there’s no getting around how dire the situation is,” said Joey Breaux, the assistant commissioner of soil and water for the state’s agricultural department, about the farmers. “Unless they have another source of irrigation water, or a way to pretreat irrigation water, it doesn’t look too good.”

Many communities in south Louisiana rely on the Mississippi’s fresh water, with their intake facilities located along the river. Typically, the mighty flow of the Mississippi is enough to keep mass amounts of salt water from reaching too far inland. But hot and dry conditions across the country this summer triggered drought conditions that slowed the Mississippi’s velocity and lowered its water levels. As a result, for the second year in a row, Louisiana is hastily working to avoid the disaster of a slow-moving salt water intrusion.

The Army Corps of Engineers is busy raising the height of an underwater levee used to block or slow the salt water, and 15 million gallons (57 million liters) of fresh water is barged in to treatment facilities.

Additionally, earlier this week Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote to President Joe Biden, saying federal assistance is “necessary to save lives and to protect property, public health and safety or to lessen or avert the threat of a disaster.” Biden granted the request.

And while many are focused on the possible impacts of the salt water influx on Louisiana’s most well-known city, 15 miles (24 kilometers) down the river is Belle Chasse — a community of about 11,000 people that sits on the west bank of the Mississippi.

If the rows of citrus trees and farm stands advertising satsumas don't make it evident that the small community is Louisiana’s unofficial citrus capital then perhaps one can look to the area’s annual Orange Festival. The event has commemorated the harvest season for more than 70 years.

While Plaquemines Parish, home to Belle Chasse, may not be Florida or California, its microclimate — southerly latitude and nearness to warm Gulf waters — has made it possible for citrus to be a unique part of the area’s economy. For more than 300 years, farmers in south Louisiana have grown a variety of oranges that are available today in grocery stores and at farmers markets statewide.

At its peak, in 1946, Louisiana’s prized citrus industry produced 410,000 boxes of fruit, said Anna Timmerman, a horticultural agent at Louisiana State University AgCenter who works closely with Belle Chasse farmers. But the vibrant citrus industry has suffered in the wake of hurricanes, with Hurricane Katrina damaging more than half of the trees. Since then it has continued to face challenges and the industry has dwindled. Timmerman estimates that there are about 800 acres (324 hectares) of citrus groves left in the state, most in Plaquemines Parish.

Unlike disasters that can have devastating effects overnight, such as hurricanes and freezes, saltwater intrusion is slow-moving. Timmerman said that the issue is estimated to reach Belle Chasse in a week or two and would only escalate to become a significant problem if it persists for several months.

“I know (citrus farmers) are scrambling to explore options, but the beauty of this is that we have some time,” Timmerman said.

While the saltwater intrusion on the Mississippi hasn’t yet impacted orchards, it is something that state officials and local farmers are diligently watching and making contingency plans for — with people looking at desalination units, reverse-osmosis machines and more affordable makeshift options.

“It’s kind of just a wait-and-see situation for us,” said Kim Dillon, the manager of Ben & Ben Becnel, Inc, a farmer’s market owned by citrus growers who produce a variety of other crops as well.

While officials believe adult citrus trees will be okay, seedlings are much more sensitive to salt water.

Over the years some citrus farmers have focused on seedlings — shipping them to garden centers across the country and as far north as Canada. Nursery stock production is now a multimillion-dollar industry in Plaquemines Parish, Timmerman said.

For now many are monitoring the situation and seeing if state efforts will mitigate the issue. Most of all though, they’re praying for rain — and lots of it.

1618568 2023-09-29T03:37:48+00:00
Seattle cop who made callous remarks after Indian woman’s death has been administratively reassigned https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-seattle-cop-who-made-callous-remarks-after-indian-womans-death-has-been-administratively-reassigned/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 00:32:39 +0000 SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer and union leader under investigation for laughing and making callous remarks about the death of a woman from India who was struck by a police SUV has been taken off patrol duty, police said.

The Seattle Police Department confirmed Thursday that traffic Officer Daniel Auderer “has been administratively reassigned to a non-operational position," The Seattle Times reported. The reassignment information comes a week after one police watchdog group called for Auderer to be suspended without pay. It wasn't immediately clear when Auderer was taken off traffic duty and reassigned.

Auderer, who is vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, has been under investigation since a recording from his body camera was released that depicts him laughing and joking during a phone call with union President Mike Solan. The call happened in the hours after another officer, Kevin Dave, in his police SUV struck and killed 23-year-old student Jaahnavi Kandula as she was crossing a street on Jan. 23.

Dave had been driving 74 mph (119 kph) in a 25 mph (40 kph) zone on he headed to a drug overdose call. He started braking less than a second before hitting Kandula, according to a detective's report. The report said Dave was driving 63 mph (101 kph) when he hit the woman and that his speed didn’t allow Kandula or Dave sufficient time to “detect, address and avoid a hazard that presented itself.”

The SUV’s emergency lights had been activated, and Dave had “chirped” his siren at other intersections and used it immediately before the collision, the report said, adding Kandula was thrown 138 feet (42 meters).

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is conducting a criminal review of the crash.

Auderer left his body camera on during his call to Solan after leaving the crash scene, where he had been called to determine whether Dave was impaired.

In the recording released by the police department only Auderer can be heard speaking. He underplays the crash, inaccurately saying Dave was driving 50 mph at the time. Then he can be heard laughing and calling Kandula a “regular person.” He also suggests Kandula’s life had “limited value” and the city should just write a check for $11,000.

Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability began an investigation Aug. 2 after a police department employee who was reviewing the body camera video for the crash investigation reported it to a police department lawyer.

Auderer’s comments have been condemned locally and internationally. Police Chief Adrian Diaz has said he’s met with representatives of the Indian and Asian communities about it.

The Seattle Police Officers Guild in a statement has said the recorded conversation has been taken out of context and that the two men were mocking how the city's lawyers might try to minimize liability for Kandula's death.

1618523 2023-09-29T03:38:36+00:00
Blinken meets Indian foreign minister as row between India and Canada simmers https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-blinken-meets-indian-foreign-minister-as-row-between-india-and-canada-simmers/ Fri, 29 Sep 2023 00:32:06 +0000 WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Thursday with India’s foreign minister amid a simmering row between New Delhi and Ottawa over allegations of Indian government involvement in the killing of a Sikh activist in Canada.

Blinken and Subrahmanyam Jaishankar met Thursday at the State Department as the U.S. tries to navigate the dispute between its northern neighbor and the South Asian country critical to its Indo-Pacific strategy to counter China's rising influence in the region.

Neither man spoke to the controversy that has disrupted Canada-India relations in very brief comments to reporters, but a U.S. official said the topic was raised. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private talks, said Blinken encouraged India to cooperate with the Canadian probe.

“We have consistently engaged with the Indian government on this question and have urged them to cooperate,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters ahead of the meeting.

After the meeting, Miller said in a statement that Blinken and Jaishankar had “discussed a full range of issues, including key outcomes of India’s G20 presidency, and the creation of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor and its potential to generate transparent, sustainable, and high-standard infrastructure investments.”

They also covered “the continued importance of cooperation ahead of the upcoming 2+2 Dialogue, in particular in the areas of defense, space, and clean energy,” Miller said. The G20 refers to the Group of 20 summit that was recently held in New Delhi and was attended by President Joe Biden. The “2+2” dialogue is a format for meetings between the U.S. and Indian foreign and defense ministers.

Earlier Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had been told Blinken would address the matter and encourage the Indian government to cooperate with an investigation into the killing.

“The Americans have been with us in speaking to the Indian government about how important it is that they be involved in following up on the credible allegations that agents of the Indian government killed a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil,” Trudeau said.

“This is something all democratic countries, all countries that respect the rule, need to take seriously and we are moving forward in a thoughtful, responsible way anchored in the rule of law with all partners, including in our approach with the government of India,” he told reporters in Montreal.

U.S. officials have acknowledged that the fallout from the allegations, which they take seriously, could have a profound impact on relations with India but have been careful not to cast blame in the June killing of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, who was slain in a Vancouver suburb.

Killed by masked gunmen, Nijjar was a leader in what remains of a once-strong movement to create an independent Sikh homeland, known as Khalistan, and India had designated him a terrorist.

India’s foreign ministry has dismissed the allegation as “absurd” and accused Canada of harboring “terrorists and extremists.” It also implied that Trudeau was trying to drum up domestic support among the Sikh diaspora.

In his comments, Trudeau said Canada did not want to rupture ties with India but takes the matter seriously.

“As we’ve presented with our Indo-Pacific strategy just last year, we’re very serious with about building closer ties with India," he said. “At the same time ... we need emphasize that India needs to work with Canada to ensure that we get the full facts on this matter.”


Associated Press writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.

1618162 2023-09-29T03:39:15+00:00
What to know and what's next for Travis King, the American soldier who ran into North Korea https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-what-to-know-and-whats-next-for-travis-king-the-american-soldier-who-ran-into-north-korea/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 23:53:20 +0000 DALLAS (AP) — An American soldier who sprinted into North Korea and was held there for two months before being returned to the U.S. is set to undergo medical testing and extensive questioning about his time in the isolated country before potentially facing charges under the military justice system.

Pvt. Travis King ran across the heavily fortified border from South Korea in July and became the first American detained in North Korea in nearly five years.

Pyongyang abruptly announced Wednesday that it would expel King, and he was flown to an Air Force base in Texas on Thursday.

Here's what we know about King, his mysterious entry into North Korea and what's happened in similar cases.


King, 23, joined the Army in January 2021 and was in South Korea as a cavalry scout with the 1st Armored Division, according to military officials.

On July 10 he was released from a South Korean prison after serving nearly two months on assault charges. He was set to be sent to Fort Bliss, Texas, where he could have faced potential additional disciplinary actions and discharge.

Officials said King was taken to the airport and escorted as far as customs. But instead of getting on the plane, he left and later joined a civilian tour of the Korean border village of Panmunjom. He bolted across the border, which is lined with guards and often crowded with tourists, in the afternoon.

North Korea's state news agency said King, who is Black, had said he entered the country because he “harbored ill feelings against inhuman mistreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army.”

U.S. officials have cast doubt on the authenticity of those statements, and King's mother, Claudine Gates of Racine, Wisconsin, told The Associated Press she never heard him express such views.

It remains unclear why King crossed the border and why Pyongyang — which has tense relations with Washington over its nuclear program, its support for Russia’s war in Ukraine and other issues — agreed to release him.


The coming weeks are likely to hold a battery of medical and phycological examinations as well as intelligence debriefings about his time in North Korea, a country few Americans enter.

King arrived early Thursday at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio and was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center, according to the Pentagon. Along with the testing and questioning, he will also get a chance to see family.

King's movements will likely be controlled while commanders learn what they can from him and decide what to do next, said Rachel VanLandingham, a national security law expert and professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. She said the probable next steps are formal charges under the military justice system, but they could take months.

“Based on their track record, I think they’re going to court-martial him," said VanLandingham, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, adding that the evidence against King appears “overwhelming” but he could also be discharged without charges.

King was declared AWOL but not considered a deserter. Punishment for going AWOL or desertion vary based on a number of factors that are complicated by King's two-month absence and ultimate handover by North Korean.

The fact that he spent weeks in the secretive country would be unlikely to give him any leverage with the U.S. military over his punishment, said Gary Solis, a former Marine Corps. prosecutor and military judge.

“I don’t think that he would have been allowed to have seen anything of strategic or even tactical value that he might use as a bargaining chip,” Solis said. “I think he’s out of luck.”


The last active-duty soldier returned to the U.S. by an adversary was Bowe Bergdahl, VanLandingham said.

Bergdahl was 23 when he left his Army post in Afghanistan in 2009, was abducted by the Taliban and was held captive and tortured for nearly five years. He later said he left to report what he saw as poor leadership within his unit.

Several U.S. servicemembers were wounded while searching for Bergdahl. After his return in a prisoner swap, he was charged in military court with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Bergdahl pleaded guilty to both charges in 2017, but a judge vacated his conviction this year.

VanLandingham said that while the two cases are not identical, the fact that the Army pursued a court-martial against Bergdahl suggests it will against King as well.

Officials said King was released in good health, unlike Otto Warmbier, another American recently held in North Korea.

Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student, was seized by North Korean authorities from a tour group in January 2016, convicted of trying to steal a propaganda poster and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.

He spent 17 months in captivity before he was released and flown home in a coma, dying shortly afterward in June 2017.

While not providing a clear reason for Warmbier’s brain damage, North Korea denied accusations by Warmbier’s family that he was tortured.


Associated Press writer Paul J. Weber in Austin contributed to this report.

1618521 2023-09-29T03:40:13+00:00
Judge sentences a woman who investigators say burned a Wyoming abortion clinic to 5 years in prison https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-judge-sentences-a-woman-who-investigators-say-burned-a-wyoming-abortion-clinic-to-5-years-in-prison/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 23:10:27 +0000 CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Emotional and physical abuse by parents who expected her to someday play a “supporting role” in her own life in deference to a future husband featured in the childhood of a woman who burned what was to be Wyoming’s first full-service abortion clinic in at least a decade, a judge said Thursday in handing down the minimum prison sentence for the crime.

New details behind the 2022 arson at Wellspring Health Access in Casper, delaying the clinic's opening by almost a year, emerged as Lorna Roxanne Green, 22, was sentenced to five years in prison and three years probation.

In addition, Green will have to pay “very, very substantial” restitution that is yet to be determined but will be “well over $280,000,” U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson said.

Green said little at the hearing but through her attorney, Ryan Semerad, told the court she acted alone, accepted responsibility and didn't intend to cause fear or make a political statement but failed to handle her strong emotions about the clinic.

“You are a talented and gifted person,” Johnson told her. “You are entitled to your opinions, whatever they may be, but those opinions do not justify in any respect the terror that was caused.”

Prosecutors and Green's attorney said in the hearing they agreed to the mandatory minimum sentence.

As many as 20 supporters of Green turned out for the hearing. Green looked to them with a slight smile after entering the courtroom but neither she nor they reacted emotionally during the proceedings. Two women and a man who sat among Green's supporters during the proceedings said her family had no comment.

Johnson said he received a “remarkable” outpouring of letters in support of Green from family, friends and community members.

Green faced up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty in July. As at her plea hearing, she said she was sorry for what she did.

Green told investigators she opposed abortion and that anxiety and nightmares about the clinic caused her to burn it. Johnson urged Green to get treatment for her obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression described in a “lengthy report” from a psychologist.

“You are a complex person,” Johnson told her.

The judge related details from pre-sentencing reports about her now-distant relationship with “helicopter” parents after a childhood in which she was regularly spanked up to age 18. Her mother once struck and gave her sister a bloody nose, Johnson said, referring to the documents.

Green experienced “emotional and physical abuse” and “control and manipulation by her parents" who “talked down” to her, Johnson said.

The pre-sentencing reports have not been made available to the public. Green's parents, who had no listed number, did not return a phone message left through Semerad's office seeking comment on the allegations.

The fire happened weeks before the clinic was to open. Extensive damage to the building being remodeled for the clinic kept it from opening for almost a year.

Green admitted to breaking in, pouring gasoline around the inside of the building and lighting it on fire, according to court documents.

The Casper College mechanical engineering student showed no sign of anti-abortion views on social media but told investigators she opposed abortion.

She told a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent she bought gas cans and aluminum pans the day before the fire, drove to Casper, and carried the cans and pans to the clinic in a bag, matching security video and a witness account, according to a court filing.

She admitted using a rock to break glass in a door to enter and pouring gasoline into the pans in several rooms and on the floor before lighting it, according to the document.

Investigators said they made little progress finding who started the fire until a reward was increased to $15,000 in March, leading several tipsters to identify Green.

The arson was one of hundreds against abortion clinics in the U.S. since the 1970s, Wellspring founder and President Julie Burkhart said in the hearing.

Burkhart said she had a daughter about Green's age, however, and felt sorry that she had derailed her life by burning the clinic.

“In a way, my heart breaks for the defendant. She made a terrible choice and committed a heinous crime,” Burkhart said.

Burkhart once worked closely with Dr. George Tiller, a Wichita, Kansas, abortion doctor who was assassinated at church in 2009. Four years after his murder, Burkhart helped to reopen Tiller’s clinic.

The clinic, which opened in April, provides surgical and pill abortions, making it the first of its kind in the state in at least a decade. Only one other clinic in Wyoming — in Jackson, some 250 miles (400 kilometers) away — provides abortions, and only by pill.

Laws passed in Wyoming in 2022 and 2023 sought to make abortion in the state illegal but a judge has kept abortion legal while a lawsuit challenging the new laws proceeds. One of the new Wyoming laws to ban any drug used to cause an abortion would be the nation’s first explicit ban on abortion pills.

Teton County District Judge Melissa Owens has expressed sympathy with arguments that a 2012 state constitutional amendment guaranteeing Wyoming residents’ right to make their own health care decisions conflicted with the bans.

Though abortion in Wyoming has remained legal, women in the rural state often go to nearby states, including Colorado, for abortions.

1618359 2023-09-28T23:12:02+00:00
Authorities in Maui will open more of the burn zone to visits by residents next week https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-authorities-in-maui-will-open-more-of-the-burn-zone-to-visits-by-residents-next-week/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:45:42 +0000 LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Authorities in Maui are opening more of the burn zone from last month's devastating wildfire for visits by residents and property owners who lost homes.

Early this week, officials began permitting those who lived in a small section in the north end of Lahaina to return for the first time since the Aug. 8 wildfire demolished the historic coastal town. Next Monday and Tuesday, residents of three more streets in that area will be allowed back, Maui County said in a news release Thursday.

The wildfire killed at least 97 people, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century, and destroyed more than 2,000 buildings, most of them homes. It first erupted in the morning when strong winds appeared to cause a Hawaiian Electric power line to fall, igniting dry brush and grass. The fire was initially declared contained, but one flared up again in the same area around 3 p.m. and raced through the town.

Lawmakers probing the cause of the wildfire did not get many answers during a congressional hearing Thursday on the role the electrical grid played in the disaster.

In the days after it, some people were able to return to their properties to evaluate the damage. But the burned area was subsequently made off-limits to all but authorized workers, including Environmental Protection Agency crews tasked with removing hazardous materials.

Officials have urged returning residents not to sift through the ashes for fear of raising toxic dust. Some families have nevertheless sought to recover heirloom s and keepsakes from the ruins.

1618440 2023-09-28T22:47:08+00:00
Before senior aide to PA gov. resigned, coworker accused adviser of sexual harassment https://www.wkbn.com/news/pennsylvania/ap-before-senior-aide-to-pennsylvania-governor-resigned-coworker-accused-adviser-of-sexual-harassment/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:43:25 +0000 HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A senior adviser to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro who abruptly resigned this week had been accused earlier this year of sexual harassment by a coworker who said his behavior forced her to quit her job in the governor's office.

Mike Vereb, who served as Shapiro's secretary of legislative affairs until his resignation on Wednesday, was accused in the woman's complaint to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission of subjecting her to lewd, misogynistic and unwanted sexual advances during her brief stint working in the governor’s administration.

Vereb didn't immediately respond to a message left on his cellphone Thursday.

A former state lawmaker, Vereb worked closely with Shapiro when he was attorney general. After the Democrat won the governor's post, Verb assumed the role of shepherding the governor's agenda through the politically divided Legislature.

In a statement dated March 31 to the state Office of Administration, the woman said Vereb told her that “If you and I decided to enter into a sexual relationship it would be our business” and that he also told her to wear lower-cut tops and skirts with shorter slits.

Shapiro's spokesperson, Manuel Bonder, said in an emailed statement that he would not comment on a specific personnel matter. But he said the state takes “allegations of discrimination and harassment seriously” and there are procedures to investigate such claims.

The woman’s lawyer, Chuck Pascal, said Thursday he was not able to “confirm the contents or authenticity of any alleged complaint, draft complaint or written statement” from her. “We also cannot at this time confirm the existence of any settlement, agreement, or other resolution of this matter.” Bonder declined to comment on the existence of any settlement.

The woman was offered a position in the governor’s administration about the time Shapiro was taking office in January and resigned in March after she brought forth concerns over Vereb’s behavior, according to her commission complaint. She said the governor’s office did not remedy the situation or protect her from retaliation.

In the statement to the Office of Administration, the woman wrote that she was afraid of Vereb.

“I am scared of what he will do, the rumors he will spread, I am scared for my professional career,” she said. “I am putting this all on the line because I am fearful that he will do this to someone else.”

State Rep. Abby Major, a Republican from Armstrong County, said the woman provided her with the interview and complaint several months ago, at a time when they were talking daily about the matter.

“She lost her livelihood," Major said, noting rumors were being spread about it. “So I’m sure it was very difficult to try to continue working in this atmosphere and in the sphere of politics where some of the people at the very top are working against you.”

Vereb, a Republican, is a former Montgomery County police officer who was elected to the state Legislature in 2007 and served five terms. He served alongside Shapiro when he also was a Montgomery county state representative. In 2017, Vereb went to work for the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General under Shapiro.

The governor’s office announced Vereb's resignation on Wednesday and appointed TJ Yablonski to the role, starting Monday.

Shapiro has not issued any public comment on his departure. In a statement Wednesday announcing Vereb’s resignation, Shapiro’s chief of staff, Dana Fritz, credited Vereb for work on the state budget and called him a “key member of a team."

1618463 2023-09-28T23:19:14+00:00
Man arrested in killing of Baltimore tech entrepreneur Pava LaPere was released from prison in 2022 https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-man-wanted-in-killing-of-baltimore-tech-entrepreneur-arrested-police-say/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:19:02 +0000 BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore police have arrested a man in the killing of a Baltimore tech entrepreneur last week as authorities alleged the suspect was in the midst of a violent rampage that also included a recent rape, arson and attempted murder.

Jason Billingsley, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Pava LaPere, was released from prison last October after serving a shortened sentence for a 2013 rape because he earned good behavior credits behind bars. He was also suspected in another rape days before LaPere’s death and police had been actively searching for him since then, officials said at a news conference Thursday announcing the arrest.

Police believe LaPere was killed Friday night, although her body wasn’t discovered until after someone reported her missing Monday morning. LaPere, who founded the tech startup EcoMap Technologies from her dorm room at Johns Hopkins University, died from strangulation and blunt force trauma, court records show.

Police have said there’s no reason to believe LaPere knew Billingsley.

The killing marked a exceedingly rare random homicide in a city that has made notable progress in reversing its murder rate over the past several months. So far in 2023, Baltimore homicides are down about 18% compared to this time last year.

LaPere’s family thanked law enforcement for their “tireless efforts” during the investigation.

“We’re relieved to know he can no longer hurt other innocent victims,” the family said in a statement Thursday. “While this doesn’t change that Baltimore lost one of its most passionate, influential fans, our efforts remain focused on remembering and celebrating Pava Marie — her life, successes, and legacy.”

LaPere, who was named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for social impact earlier this year, was remembered at a vigil Wednesday as someone who remained focused on building community and using entrepreneurship to create meaningful social change even as her national profile rose.

Billingsley's arrest warrant contains new details about the suffering LaPere endured. Her partially clothed body was found on the roof of her downtown Baltimore apartment building, according to the warrant.

Surveillance footage shows LaPere arriving home Friday night and sitting on a couch in the lobby when Billingsley approached the building and waved her over to the glass door, police said. She opened the door and started talking to him, and they were seen getting on the elevator together, according to the warrant.

Billingsley was then seen “scrambling for an exit” less than an hour later and wiping his hand on his shorts before leaving the apartment building, police said.

Earlier Friday evening, LaPere had attended a festival celebrating the Baltimore arts community, her friend told The Associated Press.

Baltimore Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley said Billingsley had been firmly on the department’s radar since detectives quickly identified him as a suspect in a Sept. 19 rape and arson. Worley said officials didn’t alert the public at that time because they didn’t believe he was committing “random” acts of violence.

“Hindsight’s 20/20,” Worley added.

He said Billingsley, 32, knew the victims in the earlier case and gained entry into their apartment by identifying himself as the building maintenance man. The warrant for those charges says Billingsley did actually work in that capacity.

According to the warrant, he entered the apartment, pointed a gun at a woman inside and used duct-tape to restrain her and her boyfriend. He then raped woman several times and slit her throat with a knife before dousing both victims in liquid and setting them on fire, leaving them with serious burns, police wrote.

Officers found a backpack and other items in the bushes outside the house, including duct tape, a bleach container, gas can and lighter, the warrant says.

Investigators are reviewing all open criminal cases since Billingsley’s 2022 release to determine whether any connections exist, Worley said.

“We’re going to put this individual, this violent criminal offender, repeat offender, back in jail where he belongs,” Worley said. “Now let’s all work together to make sure that he stays there.”

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott questioned why Billingsley was released from prison when he was after the 2015 sexual assault conviction, but he said police are only one piece of the larger framework of the local criminal justice system.

“Rapists shouldn’t be let out early. Period,” he said.

The victim in that case said Billingsley displayed a knife and strangled her during the attack, court records show.

Officials said Billingsley pleaded guilty to first-degree sex assault, for which state guidelines recommend a sentence of 15 to 25 years. But under a plea agreement he was sentenced to 30 years with all but 14 suspended.

During a 2015 court hearing, the judge who sentenced Billingsley asked why he should accept a plea agreement below state guidelines.

“Why? It’s horrible,” Circuit Judge Emanual Brown said, according to a transcript obtained by The Baltimore Banner.

The prosecutor acknowledged the “horrible set of facts” but said the victim had been through enough and didn’t want to testify at trial.

Billingsley was denied parole twice but released in October 2022 after earning good time credits that effectively shortened his sentence.

He was also convicted of second-degree assault in 2011 and first-degree assault in 2009.

Since the Sept. 19 rape, Baltimore police had been monitoring Billingsley through his cellphone and social media use, interviewing witnesses and surveilling his known addresses, Worley said. He said Billingsley likely watched a Tuesday evening press conference and acted accordingly.

“As a matter of fact, we had the press conference the other day about Miss LaPere’s death. We delayed that press conference because we were within about 88 meters (96 yards) of capturing the suspect, but he was able to elude capture,” Worley said.

The public defender’s office, which represented Billingsley in the past, told the AP on Tuesday that it was too early for them to comment on this case. The office didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Billingsley’s behalf Thursday morning.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates said that if a grand jury returns an indictment, his office will pursue a sentence of life without the possibility without parole. He also said state lawmakers should revisit laws allowing certain convicted rapists to earn good time credits.

“If this individual is found guilty in a court of law that, this individual will never get out to see the light of day again to ever hurt any of the citizens of our fine city ever again,” Bates said.

1617432 2023-09-28T22:46:08+00:00
Mel Tucker attorney wants Michigan State to preserve documents for potential lawsuit https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-mel-tucker-attorney-wants-michigan-state-to-preserve-documents-for-potential-lawsuit/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:16:03 +0000 EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An attorney for fired Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker has asked university officials and representatives to preserve all documents related to the investigation “in anticipation of litigation” against the university.

Attorney Jennifer Belveal sent the request to Michigan State general counsel Brian Quinn on Thursday after what she called the “ illegal termination of Mel Tucker's contract.” Belveal wanted preservation of electronic and paper documents and listed a number of school officials and others.

It came a day after Michigan State fired the previously suspended Tucker over what he described as consensual phone sex with an activist and rape survivor.

The school said it terminated what’s left of Tucker’s $95 million, 10-year contract for acknowledging actions that subjected the institution to ridicule, breaching his contract and moral turpitude. MIchigan State said Tucker failed to offer adequate reasons why he should not be fired for cause.

Brenda Tracy, the activist and rape survivor, said Tucker sexually harassed her during the phone call in April 2022. Several months later, Tracy filed a complaint with the school’s Title IX office.

“Failure to preserve such records will result in a negative litigation inference against the university and other potential defendants,” the letter stated.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

1618445 2023-09-28T22:47:41+00:00
Ohio coach speaks on termination for 'Nazi' play call https://www.wkbn.com/sports/ohio-coach-speaks-on-termination-for-nazi-play-call/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:11:05 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618159 [Watch previous FOX 8 News coverage in the player above.]

BROOKLYN, Ohio (WJW) -- An attorney for the Brooklyn High School head football coach who resigned after players used the term "Nazi" in play calls pushed back against what he considers a wrongful termination.

It happened during a Friday, Sept. 22, game against Beachwood High School. That district in statement Saturday stated "players used a racial slur freely throughout the night."

In a statement released Thursday on behalf of resigned coach Tim McFarland, attorney Peter Pattakos said the term has been commonly used for decades to signal an opposing blitz at all levels of American football. He called the outcry that led to McFarland's resignation "political correctness run amok."

The notion that the use of this term in last Friday’s football game implies any antisemitism or intent to offend on the part of McFarland or any of the Brooklyn High players, coaches or community is not only false but absurdly so. The term 'Nazi' is by no means an anti-Semitic slur. As a matter of historical fact, the term 'Nazi' is well known to describe a notorious German political party that, after coming to power in Germany, employed aggressive military attacks known as 'blitzkriegs.' The term 'blitz' has long been a commonly employed term in the militaristic sport of American football, which is derived from this Nazi-era German military term, to describe similarly aggressive tactics by defensive players.

While McFarland is mindful of the atrocities committed by the Nazis in the holocaust leading up to World War II, the idea that someone would be offended by hearing the commonly used pass-protection call 'Nazi' at an American football game had not occurred to him until his counterparts on the Beachwood sideline brought the issue to his attention in the second quarter of last Friday’s game.

At that point, McFarland immediately instructed his team to stop using the term, and told the Beachwood coaches that he would personally apologize to any players who were offended. The Beachwood coaches told him that an apology would not be necessary, and the game then continued to completion.

Attorney Peter Pattakos, on behalf of Tim McFarland

McFarland handed in his resignation on Monday, Sept. 25, according to the district. Pattakos on Thursday said it was because district officials "demanded" it.

"Now a group of kids at a local public school are left without their beloved head coach, leader and mentor in the middle of their football seasons. Those responsible -- especially the Beachwood politicians who are using this incident to score cheap political points for themselves -- should be ashamed of themselves," Pattakos wrote. "McFarland is weighing all legal options available to him against those who caused this extremely damaging and defamatory firestorm."

Read the full statement below:

The Ohio High School Athletic Association appeared to back Brooklyn City Schools' decision to break with McFarland in a statement released to FOX 8 News on Tuesday.

"The OHSAA expects that the school will not have any similar issues moving forward, as offensive language has no place in sports at any level and goes against the values of sportsmanship, respect and education-based athletics," it reads.

1618159 2023-09-28T22:11:11+00:00
Suspect in over 150 hoax bomb threats has been identified https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/suspect-in-over-150-hoax-bomb-threats-has-been-identified/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:09:54 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618175 EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The suspect involved in over 150 school and other bomb threats across multiple states including Pennsylvania has been identified, according to police.

According to the Hazleton City Police Department, on Tuesday the U.S. Attorney's Office South District of New York successfully identified 33-year-old Eddie Manuel Nunez-Santos, aka "Lucas", a Peruvian National to have been the source of making hoax bomb threats.

The threats occurred between September 15-23 to more than 150 school districts, synagogues, airports, hospitals, and shopping malls.

Investigators stated the threats spanned multiple states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska, and resulted in massive disruptions to the targeted communities, including evacuations of thousands of schools, and children, a lockdown of a hospital, and flight delays. 

Detectives said Nunez-Santos is also charged with attempting to entice a 15-year-old girl to take and send him nude and sexually explicit photographs, and he allegedly sent the bomb threats in retaliation against her and other minors after they refused his requests for child pornography.

Nunez-Santos faces the following charges for the crimes he has committed;

  • Transmitting threatening interstate communications
    • Carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison
  • Conveying false information and hoaxes
    • Which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison
  • Attempting to sexually exploit a child
    • Carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison
  • Attempting to coerce and entice a minor
    • Which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison
  • Attempting to receive child pornography
    • Carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  

Dozens of schools, businesses, and places of worship were impacted by the threats during the week-long span.

1618175 2023-09-28T22:09:56+00:00
Mom of Colorado man killed by police after taking ‘heroic’ actions to stop gunman settles with city https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-mom-of-colorado-man-killed-by-police-after-taking-heroic-actions-to-stop-gunman-settles-with-city/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:08:03 +0000 DENVER (AP) — A Colorado city has reached a nearly $2.8 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by the mother of a man killed by police in 2021 after taking heroic actions to stop a gunman who had shot another officer, a law firm announced Thursday.

Kathleen Boleyn filed the lawsuit in June 2022, a year after the midday shootings in the main square of Olde Town Arvada, a historic shopping and entertainment area about 7 miles (10 kilometers) northwest of downtown Denver.

Boleyn said her son, Johnny Hurley, ran toward danger and shot the gunman, Ronald Troyke, who had just fatally shot Officer Gordon Beesley. An investigation found Troyke, who died after Hurley shot him, was intent on killing as many officers as he could that day.

Boleyn remembered her son Thursday as a talented chef who rode skateboards and snowboards, enjoyed winter camping, had a beautiful singing voice, and could “bust out some pretty incredible dance moves.”

“You can’t erase what Johnny did just because his life was erased,” Boleyn said. “Without my son, my life is diminished. But without Johnny’s heroic spirit, the world is diminished. In the two years and three months since this happened, I find that I’m stronger than I thought I was and sadder than I used to be.”

The lawsuit said Hurley, 40, was crouched down with a rifle pointing down and not in a threatening position when he was shot, adding that a witness said Hurley was taking the magazine out of a rifle that he took away from the shooter.

A district attorney investigation cleared the officer who shot him, Kraig Brownlow. The investigation said it appeared to the officer that Hurley was reloading the rifle or trying to fix something on it. District Attorney Alexis King has said that Brownlow thought Hurley was a second shooter and that he only had a moment to stop him from hurting others.

“Mr. Hurley’s heroic intervention saved lives that day. His bravery and selflessness will never be forgotten,” the Rathod Mohamedbhai law firm and the city of Arvada said in a joint statement. “Recognizing that this was a horrible set of circumstances for all involved, the parties have agreed to settle this matter.”

The trial in the civil lawsuit had been scheduled to start on Oct. 6.

“Johnny was a hero, not just because I say so,” Boleyn said. “Ask anyone who was in the square that day. Ask the chief of police. Ask the community of Arvada. I think they all remember clearly what happened that day."

She said people have come up to her crying saying, “'I know I'm alive because of what your son did.'”

Brownlow was one of three officers who had heard shots on June 21, 2021, and spotted Troyke from inside a nearby police substation. None of the officers inside the substation knew that Beesley, a 19-year department veteran and beloved school resource officer, had been shot or that Hurley had intervened, according to the district attorney’s investigation.

The lawsuit charged that Brownlow and the other two officers “cowered” in the substation, “choosing self-preservation over defense of the civilian population” before Brownlow saw Hurley with Troyke’s gun, opened the building’s door and shot Hurley from behind after deciding against giving a warning first.

“He made this choice despite the fact that no reasonable officer could have perceived a threat from Mr. Hurley’s actions,” the lawsuit said. “Mr. Hurley’s death was not the result of a misfortunate split-second judgment call gone wrong, but the result of a deliberate and unlawful use of deadly force.”

On whether she forgave the officer, Boleyn said: “For a long time, I knew that my spirit forgave him. But as Johnny's mother, I struggled with how to do that. But time has passed. I am stronger.”

1618325 2023-09-28T22:48:29+00:00
Worker dies after being trapped under 8 feet of dirt in San Francisco https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/worker-dies-after-being-trapped-under-8-feet-of-dirt-in-san-francisco/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:06:41 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618080 SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- A utility worker died after he was trapped in a collapsed trench and buried under dirt and concrete in San Francisco, the San Francisco Fire Department said. The victim was working on a sewer line when 8-10 feet of debris fell on top of him.

The fatal incident happened at a worksite in the Lower Haight neighborhood on the corner of Divisadero and Oak streets. The victim had been working below ground on a sewer project for the city’s public utilities commission, Rachel Gorden of San Francisco Public Works told KRON4.

"They were below ground in an open trench doing sewer upgrade work," Gorden said.

Fire crews immediately launched an effort to dig down and rescue him around 10:30 a.m. with 50 rescuers on scene. The worker was trapped in the trench for two hours before his lifeless body was found, the SFFD said.

Video from SFFD showed fire crews near a hole in the ground with ropes nearby and rescuers digging dirt. Fire officials said specialized tools such as tripods, shoring equipment and a vacuum truck were utilized.

Fire Captain Jonathan Baxter said, "After being evaluated by our paramedics and our department physician ... unforcedly this individual did not survive the injuries associated to this."

A worker was buried in a collapsed trench and killed in San Francisco on Sept. 28, 2023. (Image courtesy SF Fire Department)

According to the San Francisco PUC, the victim was a private contractor working on a city sewer line. It's unclear why the trench suddenly collapsed. There are multiple agencies investigating this death, including Cal OSHA.

Gorden said, "We are inspecting to see what they were doing at the time of this trench collapse." Gorden said safety is the number one priority for any construction site.

As of Thursday afternoon, the victim's identity had not yet been released by officials.

Dozens of residents gathered near the scene were sad to hear the news. Resident Rebecca Gallegos said the victim was "just providing for his family, and went to work, and this person is not coming home today."

(Photo: SFFD)

Authorities are asking people to avoid the area and to take alternate routes.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

1618080 2023-09-28T22:09:06+00:00
TikTok videos promoting steroid use have millions of views, says report criticized by the company https://www.wkbn.com/news/national-world/ap-tiktok-videos-promoting-steroid-use-have-millions-of-views-says-report-criticized-by-the-company/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:05:46 +0000 NEW YORK (AP) — TikTok has become a key marketing channel for vendors promoting steroids and other bodybuilding drugs to millions of the app's users, according to a report released Thursday that the social media company disputes.

In the study, the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate says popular videos encouraging use of the products for aesthetic or athletic gain are being posted by influencers who often downplay the risks associated with them. It follows a warning issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April about performance-enhancing drugs being marketed to teenagers and young adults on social media platforms.

“They’re being marketed to young men by influencers who are deliberately saying, ‘If you want to be like Captain America, you’ve got to take these drugs’,” CCDH founder and CEO Imran Ahmed said.

The findings from the study show TikTok videos — under certain hashtags — promoting what researchers called “steroid-like drugs” have racked up more than 587 million views in the U.S. during the past three years, with 72% of those views coming from users aged 18 to 24. The report also alleges that several dozen influencers promoted websites that sold the drugs either directly or through affiliate marketing schemes that could allow them to benefit from sales.

TikTok spokesperson Ben Rathe criticized the report, saying the group’s methodology doesn’t distinguish between harmful videos and positive content that talks about recovery from steroids or their side effects. It's not possible for the CCDH to know that based on the type of data they’re presenting and sheer volume of videos that are on TikTok, he said.

Researchers said they assessed the top 20 videos under some hashtags, and all of those under other hashtags that contained fewer than 20 videos.

The information for the report came from TikTok’s publicly available Creative Center tool. Researchers were unable to measure how many times users under 18 came across such content since the company does not provide that information. Ahmed said in an interview that his group has asked TikTok to make that type of data available for assessment.

Similar to Instagram, TikTok has a large fitness community made up of users who talk about various things, including exercise and steroid use. Popular videos posted on the app speculate on who’s “natty or not,” or who’s naturally fit or taking steroids.

The study looked at content associated with three classes of drugs: anabolic-androgenic steroids, or synthetic hormones that mimic the effects of testosterone; peptides that simulate the release of human growth hormones and aid in athletic performance; and selective androgen receptor modulators, which are known as “SARMs.” The substances can carry health risks and are prohibited in sports under the World Anti-Doping Code.

Anabolic steroids are also illegal to use without a prescription under U.S. law. Peptide hormones and SARMs are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for over-the-counter use and should not be purchased in dietary supplements, according to the U.S. Anti-Doping agency.

Researchers with the nonprofit are urging lawmakers to investigate loopholes that allow sites selling the substances to operate online. They’re also calling on TikTok to better enforce its ban on content that promotes the use of recreational drugs.

Rathe, the TikTok spokesperson, said content that sells or depicts SARMS will be removed by the company when its detected.

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd.

1618411 2023-09-28T22:10:16+00:00
Cupcake walk lights the way for breast cancer awareness https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/niles-news/cupcake-walk-lights-the-way-for-breast-cancer-awareness/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 22:00:22 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/?p=1618361 NILES, Ohio (WKBN) -- A day to honor those survivors, victims and fighting through breast cancer will be held Sunday in Niles.

Pink Lights the Way will hold a cupcake walk at Eastwood Field starting at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. The group will be walking four laps around the warming track inside the stadium. All participants will be getting cupcakes.

Co-founders of Pink Lights the Way Megan Shellhorn and Shannon Styer want to spread awareness for breast cancers because they are also survivors.

"We just want to show the community what we're doing and bring everyone together to help us to uplift those in treatment, and other people whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer, in one way or another," Shellhorn said.

The group already has 500 people registered. If you wish to attend, you can register on their website or the day of at Eastwood Field.

1618361 2023-09-28T22:00:24+00:00
GOP struggles to find footing in first Biden impeachment hearing https://www.wkbn.com/hill-politics/gop-struggles-to-find-footing-in-first-biden-impeachment-hearing/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 21:59:17 +0000 https://www.wkbn.com/hill-politics/gop-struggles-to-find-footing-in-first-biden-impeachment-hearing/ The Republican impeachment inquiry into President Biden got off to a rocky start Thursday as the GOP sought to stress a need for the investigation while Democrats argued they had done little to advance the specter of wrongdoing by the man they aim to remove from office. 

Republicans sought to draw attention to evidence as sprawling as the probe itself, bouncing back and forth between reviewing Hunter Biden’s business dealings, communications with family members and associates, and the ongoing Justice Department investigation into his failure to pay taxes.

Still, the bulk of what they reviewed dealt only with Hunter Biden, not his father, even as House Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) said “our investigation is now focused on whether President Biden engaged in impeachable offenses under the U.S. Constitution.”

Comer wrapped the hearing saying the panel would issue a subpoena for Hunter Biden’s personal bank records as well as those of his companies.

Democrats vacillated between drawing attention to the looming government shutdown — passing an iPad with a countdown clock from member to member — and what they deem holes in connecting any wrongdoing to President Biden.

Republicans' star witnesses not always a help for GOP

Even as Republicans sought to convince the public of the need for an inquiry, GOP-invited witnesses at turns undercut their message, saying there was not currently enough evidence to back an impeachment resolution.

Jonathan Turley, a go-to witness for conservatives in Congress, at one point told lawmakers that some of the details they’d gathered “really do gravitate in favor of the president.”

“I do not believe that the current evidence would support articles of impeachment,” Turley said.

At another point, when asked to weigh in on GOP claims that Hunter Biden was engaged in “influence peddling,” Turley said Congress has failed to do needed work to connect it to President Biden.

“The key here that the committee has to drill down on is whether they can establish a linkage with the influence peddling, which is a form of corruption, and the President whether he had knowledge, whether he participated, whether he encouraged it. We simply don't know, and we don't even know if this was an illusion or not. But you can't find the answers to that,” Turley said.

“But without that type of nexus, then no, I don't,” he added in response to whether he would back a vote to impeach President Biden.

Bruce Dubinsky, a forensic accountant also invited to testify by the GOP, said the party had not yet laid out enough evidence to even suggest there is wrongdoing.

“I am not here today to even suggest that there was corruption, fraud, or any wrongdoing. In my opinion, more information needs to be gathered and assessed before I would make such an assessment,” he said in his opening statement.

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) later repeated some of Turley’s comments in his own line of questioning.

“Boy, that’s awkward,” he said. “As a former director of Emergency Management, I know a disaster when I see one.”

Republicans lay out their goals — but say they’ve got the goods

The GOP offered an inconsistent message about the status of their investigation, at some turns suggesting they have gathered significant evidence that shows Biden family corruption while at others saying they had launched the investigation in order to determine whether there was any wrongdoing.

In his opening remarks, Comer suggested they already have such evidence, saying the committee “will examine over two dozen pieces of evidence revealing Joe Biden’s corruption and abuse of public office.”

But he later hedged that, saying he has no predetermined conclusions. 

“The title of this hearing is an impeachment inquiry. I think that Mr. Turley has done a good job explaining the basis for why we need to take the impeachment inquiry and go forward. We have led this investigation and now we need the inquiry status as we move forward to get the information,” Comer said, adding they will need information from the Biden family. 

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) pushed back on Democrats' claims they have “no direct evidence” linking Hunter Biden’s business to his father, pointing to photos of the president at dinners with associates of his son.

“Here is the pattern. You have crooked foreigners who deliver pallets of cash to the Bidens and they have dinner with Joe, and apparently Joe Biden is an expensive dinner date, and if that is not selling political access, I don't know what is,” he said.

But other Republicans cast the evidence they’ve gathered as a rationale for continuing their search rather than proof of wrongdoing.

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) flashed a series of texts from different Biden family members, asking witnesses if those were worth looking into further. 

“Do you think this text message would lead this committee to get further information about the business dealings of Hunter Biden and how that links to Jim Biden the president’s brother?” he asked, noting the text presumably referred to the need to protect President Biden. 

He flashed another text showing Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi Biden texting her father and making a comment about how she would not ask for half of his salary like “pop.”

“Would you be looking for information related to money going from son to father,” Donalds asked.

Democrats were dismissive of Republicans who said the inquiry was a jumping off point for gathering more evidence that would answer the questions they’ve laid out.

“Many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle in this hearing have questions, but questions are not the basis for an impeachment. Evidence is,” Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-Fla.) said.

Democrats say it’s ‘an impeachment hearing about nothing’

Democrats on the panel largely used their time to showcase the gaps in connecting activities of the two Bidens.

Ranking member Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) at one point quipped the hearing was like a "Seinfeld" episode, calling it “an impeachment hearing about nothing.”

“If Republicans had a smoking gun or even a dripping water pistol, they would be presenting it today. They’ve got nothing on President Joe Biden. All they can do is return to the thoroughly demolished lie that Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump launched five years ago. The Burisma conspiracy theory, a fairytale so preposterous that one of the main authors, Lev Parnas, has now disowned and repudiated it,” Raskin said, nodding to a former associate of Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and lawyer to Trump.

Most argued Republicans couldn’t meet the standard for high crimes and misdemeanors required for impeachment, saying they were unable to tie the president to their complaints about his son.

“I hear a lot about the Biden family. This is an impeachment inquiry about President Biden. I would try to discern what the allegations are for the president because they are nonexistent at this point,” Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) said.

Michael Gerhardt, a Democratic witness who has addressed Congress multiple times on impeachment, said Republicans’ focus on Hunter Biden would not help make their case.

“The problem is that the dots are not connected. The name that's been repeated most often in this hearing is Hunter Biden, not President Biden. And the point of an impeachment inquiry is not about a president's son, it has to be about the president himself. And I don't think those dots have been connected. There have been lots of assumptions, lots of accusations, but not evidence,” he said.

Several Democrats argued the Republicans’ goal was to drag down Biden to dilute focus as Trump faces four ongoing criminal prosecutions. 

“In the case of President Joe Biden, [Republicans] decided to start the impeaching now and figure out the whole evidence thing later, and you still haven't figured it out,” Rep. Greg Casar (D-Texas) said.

“This inquiry is a cynical attempt to tar everyone, to make everyone look suspect, to make everyone look corrupt, so that voters just give up and say, ‘There's not much difference here.’”

And Moskowitz said Republicans efforts to launch a legitimate inquiry were undercut by Republicans who raced to file numerous impeachment inquiries at the start of the new Congress.

“Every single member, many on this committee, pre-judging their filing articles … They're all one upping each other in the Donald Trump friend Olympics trying to get invited to the sleepover at Mar-a-Lago. ‘I filed articles of impeachment against Merrick Garland.’ ‘No, I filed articles of impeachment against Kamala Harris.' It is ridiculous,” he said.

Republicans refuse to call in Rudy Giuliani 

Republicans on the panel twice quashed efforts by Democrats to bring in Rudy Giuliani and in one case an associate who worked alongside him as he traveled to Ukraine to further allegations that Biden improperly intervened to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor to benefit his son.

Raskin first made the motion, calling Giuliani and his associate Lev Parnas “the origins of the lie on which this sham impeachment is based and who worked to spread it.”

It was Giuliani who sought to raise allegations that Biden sought to force out a Ukrainian prosecutor to benefit his son — despite backing from the international community and the State Department that the prosecutor should be removed due to a failure to address corruption.

“When I walked into this hearing room, my first question was, where is Rudy Giuliani?” Lynch said. 

“This is supposed to be an inquiry on the facts against the president for potentially articles of impeachment. The one person, the one person, who was an agent of President Trump [who] was sent to Ukraine to dig up some dirt, find some dirt on Joe Biden ... We do not have him here. We are not allowed to ask him questions.”

Both motions to bring Giuliani before the panel were blocked by subsequent motions from Republicans.

At one point, Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md.) held up a sign asking “Where is Rudy?”  

“This committee is afraid to bring him before us and put him on the record. Shame!” he said.

1618391 2023-09-28T23:19:12+00:00
Ohio football coach whose team called 'Nazi' during game says he was forced to resign, no ill intent https://www.wkbn.com/news/ohio/ap-ohio-football-coach-whose-team-called-nazi-during-game-says-he-was-forced-to-resign-no-ill-intent/ Thu, 28 Sep 2023 21:55:33 +0000 BROOKLYN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio high school football coach says he was forced to resign by his school district and intended no harm to opposing players after he and his team repeatedly used “Nazi” as a game call in a Sept. 22 match.

In an interview with The Associated Press Thursday, former Brooklyn High School coach Tim McFarland said he never meant any offense by using the term and that it “didn't even occur” to him that it could be taken as antisemitic. But the team's use of “Nazi” has been largely criticized as such, especially given that the plays were called during a game against Beachwood High School — a school based in a largely Jewish Cleveland suburb. Peter Pattakos, McFarland’s lawyer, balked at the idea of the word Nazi being deemed antisemitic and said it is a historical term, not a slur. Citing an Ohio high school coaching book from the 1990s, Pattakos said “Nazi” is often used in football to warn teammates of what is known as a “blitz." Beachwood Schools Superintendent Robert Hardis and the Beachwood Board of Education said in a news release that McFarland’s statement shows he is “demonstrating further ignorance” and “succeeds in taking a terrible situation and making it worse.” The Ohio High School Athletic Association said it does not track the names of certain plays or calls used by high schools, but that they are aware of the situation and that “offensive language has no place in sports at any level.” McFarland, who has been coaching for 43 of his 70 years of age, said he was asked to resign by Brooklyn Schools and felt he had no choice in the matter. Brooklyn Schools Superintendent Ted Caleris declined to comment on McFarland's statement. He also said he ordered his players to stop using the call just before halftime, when Beachwood officials brought it to his attention. Statements from both school districts confirm McFarland's actions. McFarland also said that he offered to personally apologize to any of the Beachwood players the call may have offended. But he said he was told by Beachwood coaches that it was not necessary.

Both the school districts said they are currently focused on a joint response to the community regarding the Sept. 22 game and determining how best to focus on their students. ___

Samantha Hendrickson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues