KSTP(MINNEAPOLIS) — An 11-year-old boy in Minnesota is being hailed for helping to rescue a 3-year-old girl who nearly drowned at a beach over the Memorial Day weekend.Revelers enjoying unseasonably hot temperatures in Arden Hills, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, had gathered at a lake on Saturday when the incident occurred, according to Minneapolis ABC affiliate KSTP.Everett Melling, 11, was swimming at Lake Johanna when he saw the girl’s head go under water. Melling told KSTP he thought the girl might be playing a game, but quickly realized she was not.“Her head was under water,” Melling told KSTP. “She wasn’t moving at all.”The boy yelled to the beach for help from his mother, who quickly shouted for help from those on the shore.“I dove in too,” Melling said. “We get her to the shore. There’s some nurses that know CPR. And they do that.”The nurses, who were enjoying the day at the beach, managed to get the girl breathing again until paramedics arrived.“I heard someone say, ‘She has a pulse,’ and someone else said she was breathing on her own,” Everett’s mother, Elena Melling, said. “She was coughing.”The girl was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul and is expected to make a full recovery, a sheriff’s spokesperson told KSTP.“I feel like it was a miracle, because by the time he told me, and I reacted, and other people reacted, she was face down in that water for so long and not struggling,” Elena Melling said.Authorities said there were no lifeguards at the lake, because Ramsey County’s beach season does not officially begin until June 9.Temperatures in Minnesota have been setting records all weekend. The temperature was in the low 90s in the Twin Cities on Saturday, and the heat index rose to 97 degrees on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. The NWS reported Sunday was the fourth consecutive day in the 90s in Minneapolis-St. Paul, tying the all-time record for the longest stretch in the month of May.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The man suspected of opening fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland had first sent threatening letters to the Baltimore Circuit Court, Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals and a law firm in Baltimore, according to local police.Suspect Jarrod Ramos was taken into custody Thursday afternoon after he allegedly stormed the Annapolis newspaper’s office with a shotgun, fatally shooting four journalists and a sales assistant.Before the rampage that sent shockwaves throughout the journalism community, Ramos had sent threatening and aggressive notes to the Baltimore Circuit Court, Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals and a law firm in Baltimore “which asked not to be named,” Anne Arundel County Police spokesman Marc Limansky told ABC News.Limansky declined to comment further on the letters, citing the ongoing investigation.Ramos, who is charged with five counts of first-degree murder, apparently had a longstanding grudge against the local newspaper.Tom Marquardt, the former editor and publisher of the Capital Gazette, told ABC News last week he first “crossed paths” with Ramos in 2012 when the newspaper wrote a story about the now alleged suspect in connection with a stalking case.Ramos was upset with the story and created a website where he allegedly expressed “his frustration and his anger towards me, the reporter and the newspaper,” Marquardt said. “After that, he filed a defamation lawsuit against us.”The lawsuit was the beginning of an ongoing campaign of hatred directed toward the Capital Gazette, Marquardt said.“He represented himself and took advantage of the legal system to keep the case alive for a long period of time during which he sued lawyers, judges, anybody who crossed his path and disagreed with him,” he said.Ramos “continued to rant on his Facebook page to a point that we were feeling threatened physically from what he was saying,” Marquardt said.Marquardt said he contacted the police “to pursue one particular comment in which he wished I would be dead, and the police looked into it.”Police said “online threatening comments were made in May 2013.”“The Capital Gazette did not wish to pursue criminal charges,” police said last Friday. “There was a fear that doing so would exacerbate an already flammable situation.”Ramos’ legal action against the newspaper was unsuccessful, Marquardt said, and the suspect exhausted all his appeals by 2014.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC News(NEW YORK) — The sun was setting on a summer evening in September 1986 when two teenagers discovered a newborn baby boy in a cardboard box.He was in a box next to a Salvation Army bin in Anchorage, Alaska, and the teens picked him up, took him home and the authorities were called.Police launched an investigation and learned from bystanders that a pregnant woman had been seen standing near the area where the baby was found.“[The bystanders] hadn’t given it much thought, but when they had gotten home, they started watching the news, and heard that a baby had been abandoned there,” said Det. David Koch, one the Anchorage Police officers who responded to the scene.The baby was placed in foster care for a few months and then adopted into a loving home in Idaho, where he grew up alongside two sisters.Today, 31-year-old Benjamin Tveidt is a sergeant in the Idaho Army National Guard. An experienced gunner, he served two tours in Iraq.Tveidt said he was 11 years old when his father told him he was adopted.“I didn’t believe him at first,” Tveidt said. “I was devastated.”Then he learned about how he had a “foundling,” abandoned as a baby in a cardboard box.“[My parents] brought the newspaper clippings out that they had preserved … They showed me my bracelets from the hospital,” he said. “I was spinning. I mean I was like, ‘What, this is all a joke, right?’”The shocking news launched Tveidt on a new mission to solve the mystery of his birth and learn the identity of his biological parents, where he came from and why he was left.“This was the biggest question in my life,” he said. “I would look up at the stars some nights and wonder if my mom or dad or if my brothers or sisters or my grandparents were looking at the stars that night.”Tveidt connected with investigative genealogist Cece Moore, who entered samples of his DNA into four national databases hoping to find a match for his biological mother. Through that process, possible hits on distant relatives cropped up.But then Moore got a direct hit on someone they hadn’t even been looking for. She had found Tveidt’s biological father, who, as it turned out, had also served in the military.“It’s a man named Richard Blanchfield, who’s a pretty incredible guy,” Moore told him. “He’s not just any Vietnam vet, he’s a highly decorated Vietnam vet.”Moore was able to uncover that Blanchfield had been 47 years old when Tveidt was born and not only was he was still alive, he lived in Idaho about 20 minutes away.“I thought I got struck by lightning when she told me,” Tveidt said. “To find a relative that close, it blew my mind. I thought I landed on the moon and discovered aliens.”Tveidt made the drive over and knocked on his biological father’s door. An older man opened it and introduced himself as “Doc.”“This is eerie,” Tveidt said.“You bet it’s eerie,” Blanchfield told him. “Come on in, son. Come on in. Welcome.”As they sat down together, Richard “Doc” Blanchfield explained that he had joined the Marine Corps at 18 years old, served in the 82nd Airborne Division and had been a Purple Heart recipient. Tveidt had also enlisted at 18, joining the Army.In a stirring irony, the once-abandoned son learned that his biological father had helped rescue abandoned children in Vietnam during his military service. He then told Tveidt he would have kept and raised him as his own if he had known he existed.For Tveidt, hearing that was a huge relief.“There was that feeling of rejection that I had for so many years being abandoned, and it counterbalanced that feeling because I was accepted and I was wanted,” he said. “It lifted a weight off my shoulders, off my chest. I couldn’t go to bed angry anymore.”When Tveidt asked about his birth mother, Blanchfield recalled that he had met her at a bar called The Cabin Tavern one night 32 years ago.“I had a hard day and I remember I said, ‘I’m going to go and have a beer there before I go home,’” Blanchfield said. “There was … a young lady sitting at the bar and I just went up and I sat down. I didn’t say anything, I had my beer and we just started a conversation.”As the night progressed, Blanchfield said the woman told him she was in a difficult relationship and said she didn’t want to go back to wherever she came from.“I don’t remember the lady’s name, honest to God I don’t,” he said. “Before she left, I remember this distinctly … I had three statues, I still have two of them. They’re from China and… it was a Chinese goddess statue and I gave it to her and I said, ‘This will bring you good luck’”“I never heard from her again,” Blanchfield added. “I wonder if she still has it.”Tveidt decided to continue his search for his biological mother. He first located his foster mother, Verneta Wallace, who had cared for him during his first few months, but she didn’t have any clues for him about his birth mom.He next went to the Anchorage Police and met Det. David Koch. He told Tveidt that they had a sketch of the woman suspected to have left him behind, but no fingerprints.Genealogist Cece Moore continued to dig into Tveidt’s family tree. She was able to identify two of Tveidt’s second cousins — one on his mother’s side, the other on his father’s. Moore traced their family trees, all the way to their great-grandparents.Moore then built the family trees forward with their descendants. Pouring over obituaries, gravesite locators and census records, she painstakingly began a process of elimination.Finally, Moore had pared down his biological mother to two women – sisters, one of whom would have been Tveidt’s aunt and the other would have been his mother.“I felt completely certain that I had the right two women because of the way the family trees came together, there was just no other explanation,” Moore said.For Tveidt, learning the whereabouts of his biological mother was a heart-stopping moment.“I’m going to … see if she’s willing to talk to me,” he said then. “I’ve been less nervous doing operations in Baghdad than I am right now.”Unannounced, he drove over to an office building where one of the two women reportedly worked. He called a number he had for one of them and a woman answered.Sadly for Tveidt, the startled woman on the other end of the line immediately denied that she or her sister could be his mother or aunt. Over the course of their phone conversation, it became increasingly apparent that the woman didn’t want anything to do with Tveidt.“She’s extremely adamant that her and her sister are a dead end, but people can lie. DNA doesn’t,” he said afterwards. “I just don’t know. Crawling back inside of myself, starting to feel nothing again. This is OK. That will pass.”Minutes after hanging up, Tveidt’s cellphone rang again. It was the woman’s sister, who called to tell him to never contact them again.“She hung up on me,” he said. “She said that I need to go back to where I’m from, and love my family, and love the people that raised me.”“Her reaction led me to the conclusion that she’s probably the mother,” he added.For Tveidt, it felt like he had been abandoned and rejected all over again.When biological parents are contacted by a child they had left behind long ago, Moore said, it can be like “opening Pandora’s box.”“They have to face a lot of deeply buried emotions … They have carried a lot of buried emotions,” she said. “A lot of shame, of guilt and fear.”But he still had his biological father. Later, Tveidt reached back out to Blanchfield in Idaho. Over the course of their conversation, Tveidt told him what had happened and said if he had to go back and do it all over again, he wouldn’t have changed anything about his life.“I don’t want to be a different person,” Tveidt said.“You are a great person, you have a bigger family now,” Blanchfield told him. “The world had given me so much and I was blind to that for 30 years.”As their conversation started to wind down, Tveidt and Blanchfield said their goodbyes.“Alright son, I love you,” Blanchfield said.“I love you too,” Tveidt replied.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
KATU-TV(PORTLAND) — Oregon police say a suspect with a gun was disarmed by a school staffer Friday afternoon.Officers responded to reports of a man with a gun near Parkrose High School in Northeast Portland.In a tweet, the Portland Police Department said, “We ask for patience at Parkrose High School. … No injuries found at this time.”Authorities cleared the school and said there were no indications of ongoing danger to the area.Students were being bused from the school to a nearby rendezvous point where they could be picked up by their parents.This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Whitepointer/iStock(NEW YORK) — A great white shark measuring nearly 10 feet long has been spotted in Long Island Sound off the Connecticut shore for the first time ever, researchers said on Monday.The great white was being tracked Monday by the ocean research group Ocearch, the organization said on Twitter.“Be advised! For the first time ever, we are tracking a white shark in the Long Island Sound,” Ocearch researchers tweeted.The group said the shark measures 9-feet-8-inches and was spotted off the shore of Greenwich, Connecticut.This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
USGS(LOS ANGELES) — An earthquake with a preliminary 6.4 magnitude rocked Southern California at around 10:30 in the morning on the Fourth of July, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.The quake’s epicenter was near Searles Valley in the Mojave Desert, which is northeast of Los Angeles County.Structure fires were reported in the nearby city of Ridgecrest, according to Kern County fire officials.In San Bernardino County no injuries were reported but buildings and roads suffered damage, according to fire officials.The Los Angeles Police Department said it has not received any reports of damage or calls for service.“This was a strong one, and a good reminder to be prepared,” the LAPD tweeted.A tweet from the Los Angeles International Airport said no runways were damaged and the airport was operating as normal.A tsunami is not expected, according to the National Tsunami Warning Center.This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
FILE photo. Mauricio Graiki/iStock(OTTAWA, Ill.) — Two skydivers were injured in a mid-air collision that left one of them with a concussion.The men, both licensed skydivers, collided with each other on Tuesday near Ottawa, Ill., about 40 miles southwest of Aurora, a spokesperson from SkyDive Chicago confirmed.One skydiver was knocked unconscious, but was saved when his automatic activation device, a backup mechanism, automatically opened his parachute, the spokesperson said.Both men made it to the ground safely, with one landing at the Ottawa Airport and the other in the Fox River, according to the Ottawa Fire Department. They were rushed via ambulance to a nearby hospital, where one diver was diagnosed with a concussion.Skydivers are not required to use an automatic activation device but experienced skydivers urge jumpers to use them.The accident happened as hundreds of divers took part in Skydive Chicago’s Summerfest this week.It was the only reported incident out of the thousands of jumps that have taken place thus far, according to the company.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Philip Rozenski/iStock(ST. LOUIS) — A Missouri judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a law that would have banned abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy.The preliminary injunction will be in place until at least the next court date, which is scheduled for Sept. 9, according to a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood.The injunction blocks portions of a law that was signed by the governor earlier this year.“What little abortion access in Missouri is left, will stay in place for the time being,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, the acting president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.“In the meantime, we cannot ignore the part of this law that remains in place, which allows politicians to interfere with the patient-provider relationship,” she said in the statement.This is a breaking news article. Please check back for updates.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Twitter/@ABC(NEW ORLEANS) — At least one person was killed and several others injured after a crane collapsed at the under-construction Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans, officials said.Eighteen people were transported to local hospitals and three were still missing, New Orleans Fire Chief Timothy McConnell said at a press conference Saturday. EMS Director Emily Nichols said the victims taken to the hospital were “all stable at this time.” It was not clear if the people unaccounted for were trapped or left the scene.The collapse happened around 9:12 a.m. local time at Canal and North Rampart Streets, McConnell said.McConnell urged the public to avoid the area and said another collapse was “absolutely” possible because of how unstable the building is.He called the situation “very dangerous” since the crane, which weighs tons, is not supported.Dramatic video of the incident showed the crane falling into the street as debris billowed into the air.It was not clear what caused the collapse, which affected the sixth to eighth floors.Police did not identify the deceased person, who was pronounced dead at the scene.Surrounding buildings, including condominiums, were being evacuated. Nearby streets were closed to vehicles, according to NOLA Ready, the city’s emergency preparedness center. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ChiccoDodiFC/iStock(LOS ANGELES) — One person has died following a shooting at a high school in Southern California Thursday morning, according to a local hospital.Meanwhile, the sole suspect has been taken into custody as students evacuate the campus and reunite with their parents. The number of injuries was not immediately clear amid the chaos at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, about 35 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.While fire officials reported six people hospitalized, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at least three people, all students, were hurt, including at least one gunshot victim.Henry Mayo Hospital said one female patient died and two male patients were in critical condition.Villanueva said the suspect is in custody and being treated at a local hospital. The sheriff told ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV earlier that the suspect was believed to be part of the student body.The shooting began at 7:05 a.m. local time, during what’s called “Zero Period,” roughly an hour before the school day officially begins at 8 a.m. and is often used for extracurricular classes and was before the bulk of the students were there for the start of the school day, police told ABC News.Sophomore Brooklyn Moreno said she was in the quad when she heard what she thought was a balloon popping.“I just started running,” she told KABC. “There was girls falling in front of me and I tried to help them up, then just kept running cause I didn’t want to get hurt, either.”“I never thought this would happen at my school,” Moreno said. “I’m still kinda in shock right now. I’ve been shaking and crying a lot — I’m an emotional wreck.”One student told KABC he was headed to school when a few friends texted him to not go because they heard shots.“At first I didn’t believe it,” said the sophomore. “You would never think this would happen… I saw cops and I stopped and I called my mom and she told me to come straight home.”Students were led single file through the campus by armed officers. Multiple ambulances were spotted at the scene as worried parents jammed the streets.As the search for the suspect was unfolding, officials urged those who live in the area to lock their doors and other schools were placed on lockdown.Misty Wolf, a Saugus High School graduate whose 16-year-old daughter goes to a nearby school, said they were just arriving when her daughter’s school was placed on lockdown.“We were all getting there and parents heard shots — or what we thought were shots,” Wolf told ABC News. “The nice guy who waves us in the lot every morning started shouting at the kids walking to get out of the way get up the hill. …We were all trying to get out. People were confused.”“Having my kid, who is already dealing with things in life, being scared because I told her to duck down because they don’t know where the shooter is — is hard,” Wolf said. “There was another [school lockdown] a few years ago and she never wanted to leave her classroom after it. I’m worried that this will make her not want to be at school because she doesn’t feel safe.”Moments before news of the shooting broke, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., was on the Senate floor calling on his colleagues to bring up a universal background checks bill that was passed by the House earlier this year.He asked for unanimous consent to pass the legislation dubbed the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019” that would establish new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties. The House approved of the measure in February in a 240-90 vote.His fellow Democratic Connecticut senator, Richard Blumenthal, was in the middle of his remarks on gun violence when he was handed a note informing him of the reported shooting.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.