ABC News(NEW YORK) — Extreme drought and winds topping out around 90 mph have created perilous wildfire conditions from Colorado to Oklahoma.At least 28 wildfires were burning as of Wednesday morning in the Southwest and southern Plains. Winds are expected to subside Wednesday as the storm system that produced them moves east.Fire alerts in Arizona and New Mexico have been posted in advance of more strong winds forecast for Thursday.As the storm system heads east, winter storm warnings and advisories have been issued for six states, from Nebraska to Illinois.That system, now in the Plains, is bringing snow from the Dakotas into Iowa. Rush-hour snow is expected Wednesday night in Milwaukee and Chicago, although downtown Chicago likely will see more rain than powder.The storm system is forecast to arrive in the Northeast on Thursday morning, with rain falling from New York to Boston, and snow in upstate New York and western Pennsylvania.Heavy snowfalls are expected in southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa, which may see as much as 8 inches through Thursday.Snow also is possible in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, as well as western Pennsylvania, upstate New York and parts of New England. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — A candlelight vigil will be held Sunday night in Kansas to memorialize the two sheriff’s deputies who were shot and killed when an inmate overpowered them outside a courthouse.Kansas City Mayor David Alvey said the vigil, which will take place in front of City Hall at 8 p.m. local time, will be the start of a long and trying healing process for the community of Wyandotte County, which just two years ago mourned two police officers who also was fatally shot.Alvey said the community is feeling “deep sadness,” “fear,” “anger” and “shock that this happened again.”“Yesterday was a terribly tragic day for two of our young, bright, committed sheriff’s deputies — Theresa ‘T.K.’ King and Patrick Roher,” the mayor told reporters at a press conference Saturday, before holding a moment of silence to honor the slain deputies.“As they say, heroes are never forgotten,” he added.King, 44, and Rohrer, 35, were shot Friday morning about 11:30 a.m. local time as they were about to transport two inmates from the Wyandotte County Courthouse in Kansas City. Both inmates were handcuffed and shackled at the time, according to Maj. Kelli Bailiff of the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office.Bailiff said the deputies were following protocol when the deadly altercation occurred.Few details have been provided so far, but authorities said one of the inmates — who hasn’t been identified — overcame the deputies in a gated area outside the courthouse.Bailiff said it’s very possible the deputies were shot with their own guns. There is surveillance video of the scene.The deputies called for backup, but it was too late. Both were rushed to University of Kansas Medical Center, where Rohrer died and King was in critical condition before succumbing to her injuries some 12 hours later.The suspect was also shot and taken to a hospital. The individual was in stable condition Saturday, according to Kansas City Police Chief Terry Zeigler.The other inmate was unharmed.King, who served the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office for 13 years, leaves behind three children. Rohrer, who had been with the department for seven years, had two children of his own.“These were two bright and intelligent, wonderful personalities,” Bailiff said of her fallen colleagues. “They came to work every day with a smile, willing to help out, willing to do anything. It’s a tremendous, great loss to our agency.”Charges have not yet been formally filed with the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office.Two years ago, two police officers were fatally shot within three months of each other in Kansas City, the county seat of Wyandotte County.The year before, Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wood was shot at a convenience store but survived.“It seems like Wyandotte County has really been hit hard recently,” Bailiff told reporters. “It’s also a time for us to bond together as a community, and I think we begin that by being at the candlelight vigil.”“Let’s just love one another,” she added. “Go home and hug your family members because you never know what tomorrow will bring.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Bolivar Herald-Free Press/Jill Way(PLEASANT HOPE, Missouri) — A fireworks retailer in Missouri went up in flames on the eve of Fourth of July.Firefighters responded to a major fire at AM Pyrotechnics in Pleasant Hope, Missouri, on Tuesday night, according to Springfield, Missouri, ABC affiliate KSPR. According to the affiliate, several explosions rocked the building, and were large enough to rattle neighbors’ windows.One person suffered “moderate” injuries, according to KSPR. Pleasant Hope is about 20 miles north of Springfield.The building was entirely destroyed by the explosions and fire.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reported to the scene, according to the Kansas City ATF branch. Considered an explosive, ATF regulates fireworks in the country. KSPR reported AM Pyrotechnics was a distributor of fireworks to companies putting on large displays as opposed to selling fireworks to individuals.Fireworks are legal for sale in Missouri, with wholesalers being able to sell year-round, while those who apply for seasonal permits can sell fireworks from June 20 to July 10, according to state law.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Cape Coral Police Department(CAPE CORAL, Fla.) — Sometimes you get the best of algae, and sometimes it gets the best of you.An alleged felon in Florida was felled by the simplistic, photosynthetic organisms on Saturday evening when he jumped in a canal and tried to swim away from police in Cape Coral.Abraham Duarte did not make it far.The Cape Coral Police Department released body cam footage of a brief chase between one of their officers and Duarte, who allegedly jumped out of his car and tried to take off on foot when police attempted to stop him for speeding. The video showed the officer chase Duarte behind an apartment building, where he jumped into one of the many canals bordering the Caloosahatchee River in the town just southwest of Fort Myers on the state’s west coast.The police officer can be heard shouting “Get out of the water!” in the video as the suspect struggled to stay afloat.The officer continued to circle the canal as backup arrived and Duarte eventually got smothered by the algae.“I’m going to die!” Duarte shouted as he struggled against the algae. “Can you touch the bottom?” the officer asked.Duarte said “no,” but the officer responded, “Hold on, we’re going to throw you a line. You’re standing on the bottom right now; I can see.”“You’re going to make me very angry if I have to come in and get you,” the officer said as Duarte begins cursing repeatedly.Eventually, the officers pulled Duarte out of the canal — covered in green algae — and arrest him. Police rinsed him off with a hose before loading him into a cop car.“Duarte was overcome with the algae in the water after he swallowed some and quickly began swimming back to the original officer that stopped him,” Cape Coral police said in a statement.When officers returned to his vacated car, they allegedly found seven vials of THC oil.Duarte was charged with possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest without violence. He was released from Lee County Jail Sunday on $17,500 bond.He is due back in court on Oct. 3.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock/Thinkstock(LAKE HALLIE, Wis.) — Though Judy Schneider is grieving the loss of her daughter and granddaughter who were killed in an alleged hit-and-run in Wisconsin, she said the two “needed to be together.”Her granddaughter, 10-year-old Haylee Hickle, was among the three young Girl Scouts who were struck and killed while picking up trash along a road this weekend, police said. Haylee’s mother, Sara Jo Schneider, 32, was with the Girl Scout troop and was also hit and killed, officials said.“They needed to be together,” Judy Schneider, 53, told ABC Minneapolis affiliate KSTP. “We are hit double, but it needed to be that way. I think God knew that.”The Girl Scout troop was picking up trash along a county highway Saturday morning when a driver veered out of his lane, crossed over the center line and ultimately drove into a ditch, said Lake Hallie police.The other Girl Scouts killed in the crash were Jayna Kelley, 9, and Autumn Helgeson, 10, officials said.A 10-year-old girl was also injured.All members of the group — seven children and five adults — “were in the ditch, not on the pavement or gravel shoulder at the time of the crash” and were “wearing green highly visible safety vests,” police said.The suspected driver, 21-year-old Colten Treu of Chippewa Falls, fled but later turned himself in several hours later, police said.Treu and his passenger, who also turned himself in, allegedly told police that right before the crash they “had been intentionally inhaling chemical vapors,” also known as “huffing.”Treu was huffing an air duster, according to prosecutors, and when the passenger noticed Treu veering, he corrected the steering wheel. The two then got into an argument, after which Treu drove off the road, according to prosecutors.Treu was arrested on charges including four counts of homicide by negligent use of a motor vehicle, police said.He appeared in court via video Monday and was held on $250,000 cash bond. He is set to return to court Tuesday afternoon.“This is a horrible reminder of our nations epidemic of self-indulging with substance abuse without regard of the consequences,” Lake Hallie Police Chief Cal D. Smokowicz said in a statement Monday. “Words cannot describe our Lake Hallie community’s sorrow for the witnesses, victims, and their families. This senseless crash was completely avoidable.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Cal Fire San Diego(SAN DIEGO) — A violent crash involving a truck fleeing the Border Patrol at over 100 mph has resulted in the deaths of three people and eight more injuries.The crash happened while a Chevrolet Silverado packed with 11 people failed to yield at the border in San Diego County, California, according to San Diego ABC affiliate KGTV.Cal Fire San Diego reported three people were killed and eight people were injured when the truck hit a spike strip deployed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and careened off the road and into an embankment. Five suffered minor injuries and three are considered major injuries. One woman and two men were killed.There were nine people in the bed of the truck and everyone fell out of the back during the accident. The only person who wasn’t ejected was the driver, who was wearing a seat belt.The truck was coming across the border from Mexico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said. The crash took place at about 4:30 p.m. in Campo, California, just a mile from the border.Cal Fire said the vehicle was driving over 100 mph in wet conditions on Interstate 8 when a spike strip was placed down and caused the accident.The driver of the vehicle was an American and has been arrested, KGTV said, though it’s unclear the nationalities of the other occupants of the vehicle.Alcohol or drugs are not expected to be a factor, the Border Patrol said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock/kirilllutz(KINGFISHER, Okla.) — A northern Oklahoma town was warned against consuming public water without boiling it first after a city well tested positive for E. coli. bacteria.Residents in Kingfisher, about 50 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, were told to boil their water to kill potential E. coli bacteria or other possible “disease causing agents” that could be present, officials said over the weekend.The city announced that residents should use boiled or bottled water for drinking, making ice, preparing food, washing dishes and brushing teeth, according to a statement. Those taking care of infants, the elderly or people with a compromised immune systems were urged to be extra cautious.Tests indicated that Kingfisher’s water supply may have been contaminated with human or animal waste, according to officials, who added that one of the city’s wells tested positive for E. coli on Saturday afternoon and authorities were working to flush the system to halt any further contamination.“The city was notified by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality this afternoon,” the statement said. “Well 12 has been shut down, and chlorination at the water treatment plant has been increased. Water crews are flushing lines to expedite the flow of potential contamination from the water system.”Officials said they would provide water from an alternative source until the issue is resolved. Early analysis shows that heavy rains and flooding may have contributed to the contamination, according to the statement.“Initial assessment indicates that the heavy rains, flooding and excessive run-off may have led to the positive E. coli in Well 12,” officials said. “The City is working with ODEQ to resolve the issue and ensure that our water system is safe for you to consume.”E. coli exposure symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headaches and other symptoms, according to health officials.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
aijohn784/iStock(GRAND ISLES, Fla.) — A man using Google Earth to have a look around his old property ended up spotting something unusual — sparking a chain of events that led to the remains of a person who disappeared two decades ago.As he scanned a pond behind the home, the man spotted a lump that appeared to be a vehicle and reached out to the property’s current resident, who then used a drone to scan the Grand Isles, Fla., property.That resident then contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, which confirmed it was a vehicle, it said in a statement.The sheriff’s office removed the vehicle from the pond, which they say was “heavily calcified” and had been in the water “for a significant amount of time.”“Upon removing the vehicle skeleton remains were found inside,” the sheriff’s office said.On Tuesday, authorities identified the remains as that of William Moldt, who was reported missing on Nov. 8, 1997, after leaving a nightclub, authorities said. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC News(NEW YORK) — A storm system moving through the southern half of the United States over the next 36 hours will bring a threat for flooding and snow to North Carolina and Virginia.Already 4 to 8 inches of snow fell from Colorado to Iowa in the last 24 hours causing accidents and even shutting down interstate 70 in Kansas.Heavy rain is adding to the flooding in the South where new evacuations were ordered Wednesday in Alabama.As the storm moves across the South, eight states from Louisiana to Virginia are under flood and snow alerts.Thursday morning, heavy rain is falling from Texas to Georgia as flood warnings continue on dozens of rivers and bayous in the South.This storm system moves into the Southeast bringing more heavy rain here and snow to North Carolina and southern Virginia.A Winter Storm Warning and Winter Weather Advisory has been issued from Tennessee to North Carolina, including Raleigh and Charlotte.Snow is expected in the South and some areas could see up to 4 inches in North Carolina which could cause significant delays for the evening rush hour in the area.Additional heavy rain is forecast from Mississippi to Alabama, Georgia and into South Carolina where this could cause more flooding.On Thursday morning, to the north, a cold blast is moving through and wind chills are 20 below zero or more.The cold air is now moving into the Northeast and the coldest air mass will be right over the Northeast Friday morning with wind chills near zero in Boston and single digits in New York City.This cold blast is not expected to be long lived and much milder air is on the way to end the weekend. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
Nicole Hubbard, TeamHealth Chief Nurse Anesthetist(NEW YORK) — It’s a powerful image from the front lines: A married couple of nurse anesthetists, pausing for a moment together, before they moved to the next surgery at Florida’s Tampa General Hospital.In the photo, Mindy and Ben Cayer are wearing vital protective gear and holding each other while in the intensive care unit.Their team has the high-risk job of placing breathing tubes in patients, any of whom could have COVID-19.The two met in nursing school at Union University in Tennessee in 2007, thanks to being seated in alphabetical order — Mindy’s maiden name is Brock — and graduated together. They married and began working side-by-side as well as commuting to work together.The day that the photograph was taken by TeamHealth chief nurse anesthetist Nicole Hubbard, new COVID-19 procedures had recently been put in place and the mood was tense, Ben Cayer said.“We were kinda bickering about foolish stuff, what was on the radio … you know, stuff like that. … I was complaining that she hadn’t done the dishes,” he told ABC News on Friday. ,Before they came together in that photograph, they’d each intubated several patients in rooms right next to each other. When they got a break in their duties, Ben Cayer said, he found Mindy so they could talk.He said that when the photograph was taken, the two were discussing how they had never gone through anything like the COVID-19 crisis before and were both feeling anxious.“All that stuff that we were arguing about really didn’t matter, you know, in the car. It didn’t matter in the whole scheme of things and we were just really happy and grateful that we were able to serve together as a couple,” Ben Cayer told ABC News on Friday.Mindy Cayer said that shift, wearing that new protective gear, lasted 12 hours.“It was just mentally draining for us,” Ben Cayer said. “We were like, ‘Wow, this is our new norm at the end of the day.’”Mindy Cayer said that it helped immensely having Ben in the hospital.“Honestly if you’re not there, in the situation, it’s very hard to comprehend all the feelings and, you know, I guess the stress level that you’re going through. And he gets it,” she said.Unfortunately, COVID-19 has hit close to home for the couple. Mindy Cayer’s mother, Sandra, tested positive for the deadly virus, but she is currently doing OK.“I haven’t seen them since Christmas,” Mindy Cayer told ABC News on Friday. “And I’m ready for this to be over so I can actually go see them without being worried that I would infect them.”They shared with ABC News the message they hoped the image of the two of them together got across.“[If] we just stick together, we’re stronger together,” Ben Cayer said. “If we care about each other, then we’re going to get through this.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.