National News

Ice Bucket Challenge Becomes a Halloween Costume


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The ice bucket challenge might have finally reached its tipping point.The viral trend to raise awareness for ALS by dumping frigid water on your head has become a Halloween costume.For $39.99, you'll get what looks like a shower curtain attached to an upside-down, blue bucket and an empty ice cube tray. "We've received lots of interest in this, but it's still a work in progress," said a spokesperson from brandsonSale, the online retailer that introduced the costume on Friday.The ice bucket challenge, in which people nominate each other to douse themselves in ice-cold water or else donate $100 to an ALS charity, has blown up in recent weeks. Even professional athletes and celebrities are in on the action –- LeBron James, Oprah Winfrey and Taylor Swift have all completed the challenge.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Couple Tries to Sneak into Maternity Ward with Fake Babies, Police Say


iStock/Thinkstock(MERCED, Calif.) -- A couple carrying swaddled dolls they treated like real babies tried to sneak into the maternity ward of a northern California hospital, authorities said.Mercy Medical Center in Merced alerted police and other area hospitals after the couple made two attempts to get past security and into its family birth center, once on Saturday and again on Monday, hospital spokesman Robert McLaughlin told ABC News on Friday. Both were carrying dolls."They acted like they were real," he said. "They hold them and hug them and change their diapers. It’s very odd."The Merced Police Department has identified the couple and is investigating, but said there are no criminal charges."It's not illegal to have a fake baby," McLaughlin said.A security guard suspicious of the couple's intentions asked to take photos of them, which helped police track them down, he added.The man and woman were first seen in the hospital’s emergency room on Saturday, McLaughlin said. The man was treated for an injury, and then the couple stayed in the hospital and went to the second floor, where the family birth center is located, he said."They said they had an appointment with an educator or something, which wasn’t true," McLaughlin said.The woman was wearing hospital scrubs and carrying an outdated business card of the center’s director, he added, noting that staffers from each floor of the hospital wear a designated color, so employees immediately knew that the woman didn’t work there.A security guard prevented the couple from getting inside the family birth center, McLaughlin said, adding that "everyone was safe."It’s not clear why the couple wanted access to the area. The investigation is ongoing, police said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Census: Net Worth of Average US Household Drops 7%


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The average American household has a net worth of just under $69,000, according to a new report from the Census Bureau. That's a 7 percent decline over the past decade.And, the report finds, the gap between the rich and the poor is getting wider.While the rich continue getting richer, the poor are worse off than before the Great Recession. Between 2000 and 2011, the bottom 20 percent fell deeper in debt, and now have an average net worth of negative $6,029.The richest Americans, meanwhile, have a positive net worth averaging more than $630,000. That's an increase of 11 percent.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

James Foley's Siblings Say US Could Have Done More to Save Him


ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The brother and sister of U.S. journalist James Foley, who was slain by Islamic terrorists, believe more could have been done to save their brother and said the U.S. should reconsider its approach in dealing with kidnappers.Michael and Katie Foley spoke with Katie Couric in an exclusive interview on Yahoo! News.James Foley, 40, was beheaded by the Islamic group ISIS, which is also known as ISIL. The group is now threatening to execute another captured American journalist, Steven Sotloff.ISIS killed Foley and is threatening to kill Sotloff partly because of the U.S. air attacks on their forces in Iraq. The group had also been rebuffed when it demanded a $100 million ransom for Foley."I really, really hope that in some way Jim's death pushes us to take another look at our approach, our policy, to terrorists and hostage negotiations and rethink that," Michael Foley, 38, said. "Because if the United States is doing it one way and Europe is doing it another way, by definition it won't work."The U.S. does not negotiate with terrorists, but Europe has been known to pay for the release of prisoners.“The U.S. could have done more on behalf of the western and American hostages over there and still...you know, dealt with the broader, worldwide issues. Other nations have done that. And that’s been a source of frustration for me,” Michael Foley told Couric.“Take the money aside, there’s more that could have been done directly on Jim’s behalf and I really hope that with respect to Steven, they take some action quickly,” he said.“There is things that can be done. We are sitting on prisoners for example in Guantanamo. It doesn’t have to be financial. There’s ways to do it...I just feel strongly that more can be done, moving forward,” Michael Foley said.The terrorists sent the Foley family a letter in August stating their son would be killed."It was just chilling, it was full of so much hate," Michael Foley said."I don't even know how a human being can even have that fierce and intense hate for someone else," Katie Foley, 26, said. "I don't even understand where that type of hate comes from."The siblings said it's possible James volunteered to die first."I have no doubt...he's always been that way," Michael Foley said. "[He] truly cares more about others than himself. I think he was probably the strongest and most prepared for it. God forbid there's others. But you can see just from the clips, from the video, he wasn't afraid."The heartbroken siblings, whose brother reported from the dangerous frontlines in the Middle East, also spoke about the day he was kidnapped in 2012.Katie Foley, a nurse for the U.S. Navy, was the last person in their family to speak to James, through Skype on the morning of Thanksgiving, before she went to work."I told him, 'Happy Thanksgiving,'" she said. "And he's like, 'It's Thanksgiving over there?' And I said, 'Yes, it's Thanksgiving...we all love you.' And then, I went off to work, and, obviously, we know the rest of the story."They hope their brother will be remembered as a good friend, journalist and teacher."Jim was a hero," Michael Foley said. "He was my hero."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Storm Blasts Dust, Sand Through the California Skies


File photo. iStock/Thinkstock(COACHELLA, Calif.) -- Strong winds blasted dust and sand through the Southern California skies, part of a storm system known as a haboob.Scott Pam was driving in the area Thursday when the storm hit, and the wind ripped the door straps off of his car.  (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));Post by Scott Pam Photography. The dust, whipped around by 40-mph winds, left drivers with low visibility. The name “haboob” comes from the Arabic word habb, meaning “wind.”The storm also bent trees across California’s Coachella Valley, but there were no reports of serious injuries.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tensions Begin to Ease as National Guard Ordered to Leave Ferguson


iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The streets of Ferguson were mostly peaceful Wednesday night, as the tensions are beginning to let up in the St. Louis suburb where unrest has ruled since the police shooting death of an unarmed black teen earlier this month.Protesters gathered Thursday night with signs near the spot where Michael Brown, 18, was shot Aug. 9.Authorities arrested seven people overnight, including five for failing to disperse, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said at an early-morning news conference.The peaceful night comes as Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the Missouri National Guard, which arrived Monday, to leave the town.With Brown’s funeral scheduled for Monday, Johnson would not speculate on a possible uptick of violence.A decision on whether the officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson, would be indicted will not come quickly, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Wednesday. McCullough predicted that it could take until the middle of October for the grand jury to decide whether to charge Wilson.Grand juries typically meet one day a week.Federal authorities are investigating independently.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Steven Sotloff's Family Waits While Son Is Held by ISIS


Obtained by ABC News(MIAMI) -- As the world waits to see what the terrorist group ISIS will do to American journalist Steven Sotloff, held under threat of death unless the U.S. stops intervening in Iraq, Sotloff's family awaits his fate from their Florida home.Sotloff's parents have declined any media interviews and asked for privacy after it was revealed on Tuesday that Sotloff was being held by ISIS.In a disturbing video that surfaced online Tuesday, Sotloff appeared on his knees in an orange jumpsuit as an armed black-clad figure stood behind him, gripping him by the shirt. Moments before in the video, the same figure had brutally murdered American journalist James Foley, saying his death was in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iraq and Sotloff could be next.“The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the masked man says in what appears to be a British accent, referring to a stoic Sotloff.At the time of his capture, Sotloff had been covering the Middle East for years as a freelance reporter, including stints in Yemen and Egypt. He wrote for Time magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, the Daily Caller, Foreign Policy, and most recently for World Affairs Journal.The 31-year-old reporter studied journalism at the University of Central Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinel. His articles online show heartfelt reporting about the brutality of the Syrian war.His parents live in Miami, and Sotloff's last Tweet, from August 2013, is about the Miami Heat NBA team.His Twitter feed, which is his major online presence beyond his reported stories, shows a mix of humor and seriousness about his reporting.Is it bad that I want to focus on #syria, but all I can think of is a #HEATFinals repeat?— Steven Sotloff (@stevensotloff) June 12, 2013Friends of Sotloff and his family have started a White House petition urging the government to do all it can to rescue the freelance reporter."Steven Sotloff is an American citizen and reporter with Time magazine who is believed to have gone missing in August of 2013," the petition reads. "Today, on August 19, 2014 it was revealed that Steven is a captive of the Islamist terrorist organization ISIS.""We, the undersigned call upon you, President Obama, to take immediate action to save Steven's life by any means necessary,” it says. The petition has 7,336 signatures.Matthew Van Dyke, a documentary filmmaker, self-described “revolutionary” and friend of Sotloff's, told ABC News that the two last saw each other in Washington, D.C., just a few weeks before Sotloff's disappearance. Van Dyke has reported from the Middle East, and joined the fighting during the Libyan revolution, and was held as a prisoner of war."We were talking about his upcoming trip to Syria," Van Dyke said. "I feel horrible for what he's going through, I can't really imagine. I mean I thought I had a tough time in Libya but to be held by ISIS for this long, Steven's been there for a year now and who knows what kind of conditions they're in. It's absolutely horrifying. I can't imagine it."World Affairs, the journal that had most recently employed Sotloff, described him as "an honest and thoughtful journalist who strives to understand the story from local perspectives and report his findings straightforwardly. He is certainly courageous.""He was not on assignment from World Affairs when captured. It is our hope and prayer that Steven is returned home to his family and loved ones safely," James Denton, publisher and editor of the magazine said in a statement.A day after the video emerged in which the ISIS militant threatened Sotloff’s life, President Obama addressed the nation, saying the whole world was “appalled” at what ISIS had done. Hours later, the U.S. military announced it was continuing its bombing campaign targeting ISIS.Watch more news videos | Latest from the USFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Stolen Brooklyn Bridge Flags Returned to US Officials -- In Germany


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The flags taken off the Brooklyn Bridge and swapped for white surrender flags have been handed over to U.S. officials, a law enforcement official told ABC News Thursday.The handover took place far from the iconic landmark, however: it happened in Germany. The flags were given to the U.S. embassy a week after Mischa Leinkauf and Mattias Wermke, artists in that country, identified themselves as having perpetrated the stunt that became a national news sensation."They returned the flags to the embassy. There has been no determination on charges," the law enforcement official said.  The artists said last week that the Brooklyn Bridge stunt was intended as a celebration of public art and not as any political statement.The Berlin-based duo said that the flags that they put on top of the bridge were not bleached white but were made of white material and then hand-stitched so that it was done in "Old Glory" style with white stars and stripes. They said that they followed U.S. Flag Code in their handling of the American flags that they took down.Prosecutors in New York could still pursue felony burglary charges against the duo, which could lead to the issuing of an international arrest warrant. Authorities also "have some significant leads" as to the people who assisted the Germans in their stunt in the U.S. The American accomplices are still being pursued.New York Police Department officials are taking the flag return as a sign of "good faith" that the stunt was, "some sort of artistic thing or stunt," as opposed to a serious threat or attempt to scare American citizens, the law enforcement official said.It is believed that the artists realized how serious this was and how much trouble they were in when NY Police Commissioner Bill Bratton announced on WABC's Sunday show Up Close with Diana Williams that investigators knew who the perpetrators were.Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Kentucky Firefighters Shocked in Electrical Mishap During Ice Bucket Challenge


iStock/Thinkstock(CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.) -- The popular ice bucket challenge has left four firefighters injured in Kentucky.The marching band at Campbellsville University joined in on the ice bucket challenge, but instead of getting a bucket of water dumped on their heads, firefighters sprayed water on them from a ladder.  Police Chief Tim Hazlette says the ladder got too close to a power line and the electrical current injured four firefighters.Two of the firefighters' injuries are serious.The ice bucket challenge has spread across the country this summer as participants dump a bucket of ice water on their heads to raise awareness -- and donations -- for ALS.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

A Different Look at Ferguson's Michael Brown Just Days Before His Death


iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- A different view of Michael Brown emerged Thursday in a video that is starkly different from the images previously seen of the unarmed teenager who shot dead by police in Ferguson, Missouri.Brown, 18, is seen waiting to join the procession of graduates for Normandy High School in early August, just days before his controversial death on Aug. 9. He is wearing the traditional black cap and gown with a red sash around his neck and the tassel hanging jauntily off the back of his mortarboard.Brown's family said that he was going to attend college in the fall.The only other video images of Brown, who was 6-foot-4, to surface since the shooting has been in sharp contrast. Police released a surveillance video last week that showed a large man apparently stealing cigars from a convenience store.The theft occurred shortly before Brown was shot at least six times following a confrontation with Officer Darren Wilson that left him with serious facial injuries. A Ferguson police report said that the officer who viewed the store surveillance video and saw Brown's body identified him as the prime suspect in the store robbery.Watch more news videos | Latest from the USFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Parents Attach Camera to Son to Capture First Day of School


iStock/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) -- For the parents of a first-grader in Florida, simply asking their son what he did on his first day of school this year was not enough."We wanted to see what it was like to be a first-grader on the first day of school," May Weber told ABC News.Weber and her husband, Tim Weber, of Tampa, strapped a camera onto the chest of their 6-year-old son, Andrew, Tuesday for his first day at McFarlane Park Elementary in Tampa."I have that challenge every day when I pick my children up from school, I say, 'How was school? Tell me about your favorite part of school,' and I always get that one word answer," May Weber said. "Now I know maybe different kinds of questions to ask about their friends."The video shows Andrew walking down a shrub-lined street on his way to McFarlane Park, walking into the school's decorated hallways and getting a hug from his new teacher, all from his own chest-level perspective."I was impressed by what the perspective was of a three-foot something child," Tim Weber said. "How big everything was, the furniture, how big adults were, how big some of the other kids at school.""I think we sort of forget that perspective," he said.Andrew himself says he had no qualms about meeting his classmates while wearing the video camera, claiming that it was the object of envy in his first-grade classroom."My friends wanted to wear it," he said.Both Andrew's teacher, Arianne DeClue, and the school's principal, Denyse Riveiro, say they are using the video footage as a learning tool."On the first day of school everyone has nerves and jitters and it was exciting to see what the kids felt," DeClue told ABC News."I thought about from the child's perspective, what it looked like, what they were experiencing, the social skills, the developmental skills," principal Riveiro said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Umbrella Sparks Lockdown at Cal State San Marcos


iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO, Calif.) -- It rains so infrequently in California that a simple umbrella caused a college campus to go on lockdown.On Wednesday, armed police moved into Cal State San Marcos, outside of San Diego, on reports of a man with gun.Students were told to shelter in place and authorities held the man at gunpoint.But it turned out it wasn't a gun-- it was simply an employee walking with a black umbrella.The employee, identified as Bill Craig, has been a staff member at the school for 17 years.After the scare, Craig said the police were just doing their jobs."What could you do but find the humor in it," he said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

National Guard Ordered to Leave Ferguson


Joe Raedle/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The Missouri National Guard has been ordered to leave the strife-torn town of Ferguson.Gov. Jay Nixon, who ordered the guard into Ferguson earlier this week, said on Thursday he was withdrawing them because "we continue to see improvement" in safety conditions in the town.“I greatly appreciate the men and women of the Missouri National Guard for successfully carrying out the specific, limited mission of protecting the Unified Command Center so that law enforcement officers could focus on the important work of increasing communication within the community, restoring trust, and protecting the people and property of Ferguson,” Nixon said in a statement.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Mysterious Selfie Points Cops to Persons of Interest in Break-In


Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department(SANTA CLARITA, Calif.) -- California police say they want to question a couple whose selfie photo showed up on the "cloud" account attached to allegedly stolen electronics.Authorities released the photos of the man and woman Wednesday in the hopes of identifying the persons of interest."I’ve been a detective for quite some time and I’ve never had a case like this before," Santa Clarita Police Det. Brian Dow told ABC News.Police responded to an alleged burglary on July 30 when a woman said her home had been ransacked. The victim told police she had come home to find electronics and money missing, along with other personal items. She said her front door had been unlocked and the mesh screen on a kitchen window had been cut out.An incident report was filed, fingerprints were taken and an investigation into the burglary was quickly underway.A few days later, a break in the case came from an unlikely source: the victim’s iCloud account.While accessing a virtual Internet server, which syncs the data from her electronic devices, she said she noticed that selfies had been taken and uploaded by a couple she did not recognize.The man and woman, photographed snuggled up in bed, seemingly took the photos sometime after the burglary at a location the victim did not recognize."I want to identify these people," Det. Dow said of the mysterious couple, who he believes are key to solving the case.The two persons of interest, who are not considered suspects, have yet to be identified."I was at my wits end trying to figure out who these folks were," Dow said, adding that he turned to social media Wednesday in the hopes that someone would recognize them."We put out the report and everything started blowing off the hook," the detective added. "Social media has never helped out like this.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Cured Ebola Patient Dr. Kent Brantly Says 'God Saved My Life'


ABC News(ATLANTA) -- Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly have been cured of the Ebola virus and released from Emory Hospital in Atlanta.Brantly, 33, called his recovery "a miraculous day.""I am thrilled to be alive, to be well, and reunited with my family," he said.He also told a news conference at Emory Hospital that "God saved my life."Both patients were given blood and urine tests to determine whether they still had the virus, Emory doctors said in a statement Thursday morning."After a rigorous course of treatment and testing we have determined...that (Brantly) has recovered from the Ebola virus disease and he can return to his family, to his community, and to his life without any public health concerns," Dr. Bruce Ribner, director of Emory’s Infectious Disease Unit, said Thursday.Brantly said that when Writebol left the hospital on Tuesday, she asked him to speak on her behalf to the public and express gratitude for prayers on her behalf."When she walked out of the room, all she could say was ‘To God be the glory,’" Brantly recalled. "Nancy and (her husband) David are now spending some much needed time together."Writebol's husband said in the statement that his wife left the hospital in a "significantly weakened condition.""We are tremendously pleased with Dr. Brantly and Mrs. Writebol's recovery," Ribner said. "All of us who have worked with them have been impressed by their courage and determination. Their hope and faith have been an inspiration to all of us."Ribner emphasized that though there is public fear and anxiety about Ebola, there is no threat to public health with the patients' release.He also said that the decision to bring Brantly and Writebol to America for treatment would help push forward the research and knowledge about how to treat Ebola wherever it is contracted.Brantly contracted the deadly virus while working in a Liberian Ebola ward with the aid agency Samaritan’s Purse. He was evacuated to the U.S. earlier this month along with Writebol."I never imagined myself in this position," Brantly said. "We treated our first Ebola patient (in Liberia) in June. When she arrived we were ready.""On Wednesday, July 23, I woke up feeling under the weather and then my life took an unexpected turn as I was diagnosed with Ebola. As I lay in my bed in Liberia for nine days, getting sicker each day, I prayed God would help be more faithful even in my illness, and that in my illness or even death he would glorified," Brantly said.Watch more news videos | Latest from the USBrantly is the first-ever Ebola patient to be treated in the U.S. and the first human to receive the experimental serum known as ZMapp.According to reports, Brantly’s condition deteriorated so quickly that doctors in Africa decided to give him the drug in a last-ditch effort to save him.Brantly’s condition started to improve dramatically within an hour after getting the serum, according to Samaritan’s Purse, but it’s unclear if the improvement was directly related to the medication. After his health stabilized, Brantly was evacuated on a specially outfitted plane to Atlanta in early August to the hospital isolation ward.Writebol, 59, also survived after getting the serum.But Ribner said Thursday that it is unclear what role ZMapp played in their recovery."Frankly we do not know if it helped them, made any difference, or even delayed their recovery," Ribner said.He emphasized that both Writebol and Brantly were not a danger to others and there was no danger that the Ebola virus could flare up again in them."There is no evidence that once a patient has cleared the virus from their blood that they will relapse," Ribner said.He also said that having survived Ebola, the patients were now immune to that particular strain of Ebola, although there are five strains of the virus.The virus has killed at least 1,229 and sickened 1,011 more, according to numbers released Tuesday by the World Health Organization. Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have the most cases.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

From "Jeopardy!" Contestant to Indictment in Stalking Case


iStock/Thinkstock(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- An Ivy League grad who appeared on popular game shows such as Jeopardy! was indicted by a grand jury this week on charges that she broke into the home of a Virginia lawmaker and assaulted his wife.Claire Ogilvie, 36, is awaiting trial in the February incident. Court documents allege that Ogilvie -- a former patent attorney and high school teacher -- sneaked into the home of Virginia House of Delegates member David Toscano, armed with a deadly weapon, and assaulted his wife, Nancy Tramontin. Ogilvie faces felony charges of breaking and entering while armed, abduction and malicious wounding.Ogilvie remains in jail and has not entered a plea. Her attorney Adam Rhea declined bail.“There are reasons,” Rhea said. “Every case is different. This is a case where we felt like it was in our best interest not to ask for bond.”In a written statement to the Charlottesville Daily Progress after the alleged attack, representatives for Tramontin say she and her lawmaker husband met Ogilvie on a Semester at Sea cruise -- a study-abroad program -- in 2010, where the Yale grad was tutoring the couple’s son. They remained friends.“In 2012, Nancy became concerned that Ms. Ogilvie had developed an unsettling interest in the Toscano family,” the statement reads. “The family reduced their contact, beginning in the early summer, and saw her for the last time in fall 2012. Before the attack, Nancy and the Toscanos had not seen Ms. Ogilvie in over a year.”One expert says such a falling out may have caused Ogilvie to allegedly act out.“That’s very common in stalking, when the stalker feels rejected,” forensic psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Bober, who has no connection to the case, said. “That’s often when they will turn to violence.”Attorneys for both parties declined ABC News’ request for comment. Prosecutors say the record will remain sealed until Ogilvie’s hearing Sept. 17.Ogilvie won $50,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire in 2005. She also made two appearances on Jeopardy! in 1998, advancing to the semifinals of the show’s college championship.Watch more news videos | Latest from the USFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

'A Very Good Night' in Ferguson as Peace Preserved


iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Peaceful protests and community activism replaced violent clashes in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, overnight, with only six arrests reported, police said.Unrest has ruled in the St. Louis suburb since the Aug. 9 police shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, speaking at an early-morning news conference, said Wednesday night’s protesters remained mostly orderly, showing a marked improvement over the previous night, when 47 people were arrested.“Tonight was a very good night,” Johnson said.Johnson said a few minor incidents were reported, such as an officer hit by a water bottle -- but the officer wasn’t injured.Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon visited Ferguson Wednesday, as did Attorney General Eric Holder.A decision on whether the officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson, would be indicted will not come quickly, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Wednesday. McCullough predicted that it could take until the middle of October for the grand jury to decide whether to charge Wilson.Grand juries typically meet one day a week.McCulloch said the grand jury investigation will be thorough."They will have absolutely everything there is, every piece of paper, every photograph, every bit of physical evidence, all of the forensic information," the district attorney said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

WATCH: Dramatic Video Shows Fatal St. Louis Police Shooting


iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- Police in St. Louis released video showing officers shooting and killing a man -- a shooting that occurred only 10 days after an officer in nearby Ferguson fatally shot unarmed teen Michael Brown.Police said the man in Tuesday’s shooting, identified as Kajieme Powell, had a knife. Cell phone video of the incident, recorded by a witness, shows the man refusing to back down, staggering about, walking toward police despite repeated orders to stop.“Put your hands out of your pocket!” the officers yell. “Drop the knife!”“Shoot me now,” the man can be heard saying, as onlookers watched on the sidewalk nearby.The officers fired a dozen shots at the man, authorities said Wednesday.Powell was involved in a shoplifting prior to the shooting, police said.The officers who shot the man are now on administrative leave.Watch more news videos | Latest from the USFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Girlfriend at Center of Florida Love Triangle Never Thought Killer Ex Capable of


ABC News(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) --  The ex-girlfriend of Pedro Bravo, the Florida college student who was found guilty last week of killing her new love in the so-called Gainesville Love Triangle trial, said she never thought the smart, charismatic student she once dated was capable of murder.“He kind of tricked us all, thinking, you know, this guy that’s shy and he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” Erika Friman told ABC’s Matt Gutman in an interview for 20/20. “I don’t think anyone in their right mind would go as far as he has.”Bravo, 20, was convicted of first-degree murder and six other counts in the death of 18-year-old University of Florida student Christian Aguilar. He was sentenced to life in prison.Throughout the trial, prosecutors alleged that Bravo was so distraught over finding out his ex-girlfriend, Friman, was dating his friend, Aguilar, that he concocted a plan to kill him so he and Friman could be together again.“This was a person we knew. This was intentional,” Friman said. “It makes it all so much worse. It’s like the knife just turns in your heart kind of thing.”It came out during the trial that Bravo kept an incredibly detailed journal, in which he professed his love for Friman over and over again, writing obsessively about winning her back, and then, how he would get away with murdering the friend he had known since middle school -- all of which shocked Friman, who testified against Bravo and read the journal for the first time when she was on the stand.“It sounds like the mind of a sociopath, or a sick person,” she said. “A lot of it was his obsession for me, and how he wanted me back and how he wanted to be with me.”Friman said she started dating Bravo when the two were sophomores in high school in Miami. She remembered initially being drawn to him because he made her laugh, but by their senior year, he started to wear on her. She said she told him she wanted to take a break from their relationship, but Bravo wouldn’t accept it and appeared depressed.“I felt like he almost manipulated me at that point in my life, where he was kind of like, ‘if we do these things, we’ll never be the same,’” she said. “I was really concerned that, I don’t know, something bad would happen if we took a break.”So Friman kept dating him through summer 2012, until she had to leave for Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida. That’s when she said she told Bravo, “I don’t see a future with you, and I don’t want to do long distance, and this doesn't make me happy right now.”“I tried to be as clear as I could, but I mean, apparently he didn't understand it,” she said.When they broke up, Friman said Bravo was “very emotional” and cried, but she felt “free,” like a “weight had just been lifted.” After the break-up, she started seeing his friend Christian Aguilar, whom she said made her feel special.“Christian made me really happy and we had so many things in common,” she said.But after she arrived at college, Friman said she learned from a friend that Bravo had also enrolled at Santa Fe Community College and was still upset over losing her, even suicidal. Friman said she checked up on him, but kept her relationship with Aguilar a secret.“I just felt like [Bravo] needed more time before hearing it,” she said. “When I spoke to [Bravo], I mean, I lied to him. I told him, ‘no [Aguilar and I are] not, we’re not dating, we’re just hanging out and I don’t know a lot of people here’... It was because I had already known he was suicidal and I didn’t want to throw him over the edge.”Then, in September 2012, Friman said Bravo called Aguilar, saying he was feeling down and wanted help. Prosecutors claimed that Aguilar met up with Bravo and got into his car, where Bravo later poisoned him, strangled him with his belt, then dumped his body. Aguilar’s body was found 22 days later in a wooded area 60 miles outside of Gainesville.Friman said she first realized Aguilar was missing hours after he went to meet Bravo when he wouldn't answer his phone. She started to panic and kept trying to call both of them until the early morning hours. Aguilar’s phone kept going to voicemail, but finally, Bravo picked up.“[Bravo] answers and the first thing I ask him was like, ‘Where’s Christian?’” And he’s just like, ‘oh, you know, I was dropping him off, you know, we got into an argument, you know, a verbal argument,’” she said.In police interrogation tapes played in court, Bravo admitted to police that he had met up with Aguilar on the night of his death, and the two got into an argument, but that Aguilar got out of the car and Bravo drove off without him.When she couldn't find Aguilar, Friman made Bravo go with her to report him missing to police. She said she believed Bravo’s story that he and Aguilar had fought and Bravo had left him somewhere, but that Aguilar was hurt or lost. But as time went on, and Aguilar didn’t come home, she said her suspicion of Bravo grew.“It was like nudging in the back of my head, Pedro must have been involved,” Friman continued. “It was sickening, almost, just because we knew him for so long, and Christian was his friend.”Friman denied that being up front with Bravo about her relationship with Aguilar would have stopped Bravo from killing him, and doesn't regret testifying against him.“People tell me all the time, ‘oh you’re so strong, you’re so brave,’ and I look at them, and I’m kind of just like, ‘well, if you were in my shoes, you would do the same thing, you would testify,’” she said. “If it was the love of your life you lost, and this is the one thing you can do for him, for his family, for his memory, you would find a way to pull it all together.”Friman said there isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't think about Aguilar. She believes if he were alive today, they would have gotten married.“I think we were soul mates,” she said. “You don’t expect to lose your love that young, and not in such a traumatic way… [but] at the end of the day, when I think of all these unknowns, I think of how much Christian loved me, and that’s kind of what gets me through it.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Police Officer Suspended After Allegedly Threatening Protester in Ferguson


iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) -- The Saint Louis County Police Department announced on Wednesday that a St. Ann Police Officer was suspended indefinitely after a video circulated showing him threatening peaceful protesters on Tuesday night.The SLCPD said in a press release that the officer was seen pointing a semi-automatic assault rifle at a peaceful protester. The incident followed a "verbal exchange." In the video, someone is heard asking the officer for his name, to which the officer replies "Go f*** yourself." The officer then appears to threaten to kill the civilian.The police department noted that a St. Louis County Police Sergeant de-escalated the tension of the situation by forcing the officer to lower his weapon and escorting him from the area. The SLCPD release notes that the officer was relieved of duty and suspended.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Middle Schooler Critical After Lightning Strike at Football Practice


iStock/Thinkstock(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) -- Five New Mexico middle schoolers are recovering Wednesday after they were struck by lightning during football practice, authorities say. Four of the boys were hospitalized including one who is in critical condition after he was completely unresponsive at the scene as two parents worked to revive him.The sudden and unexpected jolts shocked the 8th grade football team at Picacho Middle School in Las Cruces around 5 p.m. Tuesday, injuring the students along with assistant coach Arnie Castaneda.One 13-year-old was immediately transported to Mountainview Regional Medical Center where he was later stabilized.“He collapsed right away, and he was completely unresponsive,” Las Cruces Police Department spokesman Dan Trujillo told ABC News. According to Trujillo, the other boys were responsive and in stable condition.Las Cruces Public School Director of Communications Jo Galvan told ABC News that the bolts hit a nearby tree and spread along the ground just as the team was retreating into the school because of the drizzle. Bystanders ran inside to alert the boy’s mother, who works at the school, Galvan said.ABC News obtained the audio recording of a 911 call from a hysterical female witness. The phone was transferred to a more composed male witness who listens to the operator as she tells him to put the boy on his side.“The boys were very scared,” Galvan said. “Of course coaches were yelling, there were two parents trying to help the boy. It was very emotional, very stressful, and very fearful.”Two fathers are being called heroes after performing CPR on the unresponsive boy and can be heard in the recording trying to resuscitate him. “He’s coming back around but he’s not looking very alert,” one man says. “Come on, buddy! Please,” says another in the background.The boy was transferred from Mountainview Regional Medical Center to the Trauma unit at El Paso Children’s Unit where he is reported to have begun breathing on his own as of Tuesday night. He remains in critical condition.Galvan said that during monsoon season in New Mexico rapid downpours are expected so it was natural for the students to begin moving inside but they did not expect lightning.A team of counselors and psychologists have spent the day at Picacho Middle School. Students and staff members were meeting with counselors Wednesday, officials said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Does Cool Summer Signal Another Cold and Snowy Winter?


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It's been an unusually cool summer for much of the eastern United States. But does this mean the upcoming winter season will be colder and snowier than normal?For clues, let's take a look at previous cool summers and how the following winter played out.For example, Indianapolis averages 15 days per summer of 90 degrees, but through Aug. 20 it had none. Last time this happened was in 2004 when Indianapolis had zero 90 degree days. The following winter was warmer than normal for the city.Let's look at the Washington, D.C., area for August 2014; at Dulles Airport and Baltimore-Washington International, the first 15 days of August were the third coolest on record. The coolest ever for both reporting locations was 1964; the following winter (1964-65) was near normal.What about Chicago, which averages 14 or 15 days of 90 degrees and above? So far this summer, only three days recorded temperatures at or above 90 at O'Hare International Airport (at the city's official weather observation station). Also, Chicago had below-normal July and August temperatures. Last time Chicago had a cool summer like that was in 2009 when June, July and August averaged below normal. The 2009-10 winter in the Windy City was colder than normal.We also have to look at phenomena known as El Niño -- warmer than normal ocean water along the equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean. Usually, El Niño means warmer than normal and slightly wetter than normal winter in the Midwest and the Northeast.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting El Niño to develop this winter.NOAA says: "In summary, we continue to favor the emergence of El Niño in the coming months, with the peak chance of emergence around 65% (i.e. there is a 35% chance of El Niño not occurring). ENSO forecasters do not expect a strong El Niño (we can’t eliminate the chance of one either), but we are not expecting El Niño to 'fizzle.' In fact, just in the last week, we have started to see westerly wind anomalies pick up near the Date Line. Literally and figuratively, we may be witnessing the start of ENSO’s second wind."With that said, looking back at warmer than normal winter 2004-05 in Indianapolis, El Niño was present. In the Washington, D.C. area, winter 1964-65 was near normal and there was no El Niño. But in Chicago, 2009-2010 was a cooler than normal winter and had a moderate El Niño.Each year is unique and many variables could alter the winter forecast in either direction. In the recent years, weather patterns have been slower to move, due to weaker jet streams and lesser temperature contrast between the Arctic and the mid-latitudes. Once you are stuck in one pattern, warm or cold, it seems to continue for months, in some cases even a full year.So far this year, we have been stuck in a colder than normal weather pattern in the eastern United States and warmer than normal weather in the West. We would need a significant pattern shift to change the current set up.El Niño could be that trigger mechanism but it would need to be a strong El Niño in order to affect the world weather pattern. With NOAA's Climate Prediction Center not forecasting a strong El Niño, we could wind up with an early fall and colder than normal winter for the Northeast and Midwest.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ferguson Cop Had 'Serious Facial Injury,' Source Tells ABC News


Stockbyte/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- The Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager suffered "a serious facial injury" in the altercation before firing the fatal shots, according to a source close to the officer who spoke to ABC News Wednesday.The characterization about Officer Darren Wilson being injured in his confrontation with Michael Brown emerged on the day that a grand jury was expected to begin hearing evidence in the shooting.Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Wilson on Aug. 9, and protesters have been angrily calling for Wilson's arrest and indictment since that day.St. Louis County Prosecutor David McCullough cautioned on Wednesday that a decision on whether or not the officer would be indicted will not come quickly. He told ABC News "our target date is the middle of October" for wrapping up the evidence and asking the jury to decide whether to charge Wilson. Grand juries typically meet one day a week.A source close to Wilson told ABC News that during the struggle at the patrol car, Wilson suffered "a serious facial injury."The injury was not described, but last week Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said that Wilson had swelling to the side of his face.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

James Foley's Parents Recall Son's 'Big Heart'


Peter Kramer/NBC(NEW YORK) -- The parents of James Foley, the American journalist who was beheaded by a masked captor, graciously remembered their son's big heart and said they were trying to not be bitter.John and Diane Foley spoke outside their New Hampshire home Wednesday about their son's legacy and asked for mercy for other Americans being held abroad."There is no reason for this slaughter. Jim was just a symbol for our country. Jim was there to hear the truth and bear witness to the love and suffering...and they knew that," Diane Foley said, referring to the militant Islamic group ISIS that claimed responsibility for killing Foley.“Jim had a big heart and that is what we shared with President Obama. We just pray that Jim's death can bring our country together in a stronger way," she said.Her husband's voice broke as he cited his son's final words, that he wished he could have spent more time with his family. The father's last sentence was interrupted by a sob as he paused to compose himself."We're very proud of Jim," his mother said while speaking at times emotionally about her son. "He was a courageous, fearless journalist. A very compassionate American."The parents showed remarkable grace while talking about the grisly execution of their son."Jim would never want us to hate or be bitter...We’re praying for the strength to love like he did,” Diane Foley said. "We are praying for mercy for the remaining hostages."Her husband added, “We’re just begging for mercy...They never hurt anybody. They were trying to help.”The Foleys, who have five children, had been through the anguish of their son's capture once before when he was held for 44 days in Libya.Diane Foley said her son's decision to return to work abroad made some of his siblings angry after they had worked tirelessly to raise awareness during his detention in Libya."Jim, you have so many gifts," she said they told him. "Why are you doing this?”John Foley said his son's decision to work in conflict zones was driven by the passion for his work, which he said "gave him energy.""He was not crazy. He was motivated," John Foley said.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Ferguson Library Becomes Refuge for Adults, Children Amid Strife


iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Amid all of the strife engulfing Ferguson, Missouri, this month, there is one spot in town that has become a refuge for children, parents and residents: the library.The Ferguson Library has been an oasis of calm since the town's residents erupted in anger at the police after a Ferguson cop shot and killed an unarmed black teen, Michael Brown, on Aug. 9.It has used Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to offer residents a place of respite for them to get bottled water, check their emails and avoid the unrest developing on Ferguson's streets.As the Ferguson-Florissant School District postponed the start of the school year for more than a week, teachers set up shop at the Ferguson library, providing activities and instruction for children awaiting the start of class. The Library has also emphasized its role as a community institution, placing signs outside the building noting that it stands with community members, at a time when the town's police department has battled protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio