Aug 19

Urban Meyer investigation at Ohio State to wrap up on Sunday

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — An independent investigation into how Ohio State’s national championship-winning head football coach Urban Meyer handled domestic violence accusations against a staff member will be completed Sunday, the school said Friday.

The school’s Board of Trustees appointed an independent group to investigate how Meyer, one of the highest-paid coaches in college football, treated allegations of abuse by the wife of former Ohio State assistant football coach Zach Smith. Courtney Smith, now Zach’s ex-wife, told Stadium on Aug. 1 that she believed Meyer was aware of a 2015 claim of abuse against her then-husband.

Courtney Smith said she spoke to Meyer’s wife, Shelley; showed her pictures of bruises allegedly from the abuse; and told Shelley to speak to her husband.

Meyer was placed on administrative leave just hours after her interview was released.

The coach said at Big Ten Media Day on July 24 that he was unaware of the 2015 domestic violence incidence by Smith, only to later apologize in a statement following his placement on leave and say, “My intention was not to say anything inaccurate or misleading. However, I was not adequately prepared to discuss these sensitive personnel issues with the media, and I apologize for the way I handled those questions.”

The independent investigation will wrap up its findings on Sunday, and then prepare a report to be delivered to the Board of Trustees sometime next week, Ohio State said in its statement Friday.

“As required by law, public notice of the meeting will be released at least 24 hours in advance,” the school said. “Following deliberations with the board, and appropriate time for consideration, President Michael V. Drake will announce his decision.”

It’s unclear what those penalties could include.

Offensive coordinator Ryan Day has served as head coach while Meyer is on leave.

Zach Smith was fired by Ohio State in July after he was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass during a dispute with Courtney Smith. He pleaded not guilty. The charge was just the latest in a number of domestic incidents involving the couple. Zach Smith was arrested in 2009 for allegedly abusing Courtney Smith while she was pregnant, but she ultimately decided not to press charges, Stadium‘s Brett McMurphy reported. The Columbus Dispatch reported that police responded to the couple’s home for the 2015 incident, but no charges were filed.

Julia Leveridge, Courtney Smith’s lawyer, told Good Morning America on Aug. 13 that her client had spoken to investigators and was “thankful for the support she has received during this time.”

Meyer has won three national championships as a head coach, including two at the University of Florida and one at Ohio State. He will make $7.6 million in 2018.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 19

Ahead of cross-border family reunion, South Koreans express anticipation

iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL) — Kim Kwang Ho left his hometown in North Hamgyong Province, now North Korean territory, when he was in middle school, leaving his mother and younger brother behind. He left without a single photo, believing he would be back within 10 days, when the danger of war dissipated. Those 10 days turned into 68 years.

Kim, who is now 80, still has clear memories of his hometown, recalling the apricot trees that grew in his backyard. But he said he cannot recall the faces of his mother or little brother. Nevertheless, his longing for his family always stayed with him: “When I hear the word ‘mother,’ I just cannot help but cry.”

On Monday, Kim and others chosen by lottery will finally rejoin family members from the North they haven’t seen in decades. The winners of that lottery — held between the North and South as part of cooling tensions between both sides — passed a screening to become the final 89 South Koreans to meet their families in the North for three consecutive days. And conversely, starting Friday, 83 North Koreans will get three days to meet with their separated families who are living in South Korea.

Lee Su Nam was astounded when the Red Cross delivered the message that he will be meeting his older brother. He is now 77 years old and had only faint hope that his brother — 10 years older than Lee — would still be alive in the North. Lee’s family lived in South Korea for generations. One morning, his older brother was taken away by the North Korean military, and Lee has never forgotten that day.

“For me, it was just my older brother that I lost, but for him it was the whole family, hometown, friends, school. … I can’t imagine how hard his life must have been,” Lee told ABC News, as he clutched old photos of his big brother, which Lee had kept all these years.

So far, 132,603 people have registered with the Red Cross for cross-border family reunions. Fifty-seven percent of them are now dead. And among the 56,862 seniors who are still waiting for a reunion, 63 percent of them are over 80.

“There are still over 50,000 people who haven’t seen their loved ones yet,” 92-year-old Yoon Heung Kyu said. He left his home in North Korea several years before the Korean War broke out. Although his roots were in the North, he had to fight along with South’s army.

“This meetup is a good thing, and we should do it,” he said. “But instead of going to Mount Kumkang, they could build a fort at Panmunjom and let people see their loved ones much more freely.”

Jeong Hak Soon, 81, is meeting her older brother’s wife and son on Monday at the reunion area. To her dismay, her much-missed brother was no longer alive to give her a pat on her head once again. She choked back tears talking about how her warm-hearted older brother was taken by the North Korean military. Her family evacuated their home in the North, not knowing they would never have their real home back.

“He would have returned to an empty house,” Jeong said of her brother. “I wonder how he managed to live on his own in that big empty house. My heart breaks every time I think of it.”

Jeong holds hope that inter-Korean relations will improve amid the currently thawing atmosphere.

“I sincerely hope for unification,” Jeong said. “I really wish I could meet them, visit their place, bring them here and feed them some good food.”

The official reunions between families in the two Koreas began in 2000. So far, 4,120 families were given the chance to meet their family members still in the North through 20 reunion events that took place at Mount Kumgang in North Korea. The last reunion of separated families took place in 2015.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 19

ICE detains California man taking pregnant wife to hospital for delivery of their baby

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) — A man driving his pregnant wife to a hospital for delivery of their baby was detained and taken into custody by immigration agents, according to the couple’s lawyer and a news report.

The 36-year-old husband, whose lawyer said had no criminal record, was taken into custody when the couple stopped at a gas station Wednesday in San Bernardino, California, his wife, Maria del Carmen Venegas, told Univision in Spanish. They had been on the way to the hospital for a scheduled C-section.

“[I asked] why are you taking my husband, and they said, somebody had reported us. And I said, ‘No, how is that possible?’ I said we are hard workers,” Carmen Venegas told Univision in an interview after the birth of her child.

“It is very hard because he was always there,” the mother told Univision. “And he would say everything will be OK and not to worry, that we will meet the baby. And for me to be alone it feels brutal.”

In addition to the newborn, the couple have four children between the ages of 2 and 13 years old.

An attorney representing Carmen Venegas told ABC News that Arrona-Lara was detained for not having identification on him. The lawyer, Emilio Amaya, said the father has no criminal record and no arrest warrant.

According to Amaya, witnesses at the gas station said ICE agents were there when Arrona-Lara’s car pulled up and that the agents seemingly approached the family randomly.

ICE said in a statement that Arrona-Lara is an undocumented immigrant in custody pending removal proceedings.

“Mr. Arrona-Lara, a citizen of Mexico illegally residing in the United States, was taken into custody Wednesday by ICE Fugitive Operations Team officers in San Bernardino, Calif.,” the agency said. “Mr. Arrona-Lara is currently in ICE custody pending removal proceedings with the Executive Office for Immigration Review.”

The statement went on to say that ICE focuses on people who pose a threat to security or public safety, but “will no longer exempt” others from potential enforcement.

“ICE continues to focus its enforcement resources on individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security,” the statement said. “ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. However, ICE will no longer exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. All of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and, if found removable by final order, removal from the United States.”

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Aug 19

12-year-old girl in Mississippi allegedly took mother’s car and crashed into sheriff’s deputy

ABC News(MERIDIAN, Miss.) — A 12-year-old girl allegedly took her mother’s car and led police on a chase around a trailer park before crashing into a sheriff’s deputy responding to the incident, authorities said.

Video of the event on Wednesday night near Meridian, Mississippi, shows the moments before and after a deputy was allegedly hit by the vehicle. A few seconds later, gunshots are heard when another officer allegedly fired on the car.

The deputy suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, a spokesperson for the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s office said.

The 12-year-old suspect has been detained and is at a juvenile detention center, the sheriff’s office said.

Sheriff Billy Sollie told ABC News that the deputy was laying out spike strips that are used to stop vehicles when he got hit by the car. Sollie also defended the other responding officer’s firing shots at the car, which he said were aimed at the vehicle, not the girl.

“That 3,500-pound vehicle is being operated by a 12-year-old,” Sollie said. “It would be the same difference if a 12-year-old had a gun pointed at you. Would you say, ‘She’s 12, she’s not going to pull the trigger’?”

Witnesses said the girl was driving in circles around the area at a high speed.

“She was going like 70, 80 miles [per hour],” Charles Brown told ABC News affiliate WTOK in Meridian.

“The officer, I guess he was trying to get the spikes out [on] the road or something, and she ran him over,” Brown said.

Sollie told WTOK that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation.

The bureau has not yet responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

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Aug 19

Nashville police investigate whether spate of ‘cold-blooded’ killings are connected

iStock/Thinkstock(NASHVILLE) — An all-out manhunt is underway for two “cold-blooded killers” in a rash of deadly shootings this month in Nashville — and police are investigating whether all of the crimes are linked to the same gunmen.

The latest shooting happened early Friday in the parking lot of a club on Gallatin Avenue. Four people, including Bartley Teal and Jaime Sarrantonio, had just left Cobra Nashville about 3 a.m. when two armed men approached them and announced a robbery, police said.

Teal told the suspects he didn’t have anything to give, authorities said. That’s when at least one of the gunmen shot Teal — who was celebrating his 33rd birthday, police said.

The suspects then fatally shot Sarrantonio, according to the Nashville Police Department.

“These are just two senseless cold-blooded homicides,” Don Aaron, public affairs manager for the department, said at a news conference Friday.

The other two people with Teal and Sarrantonio — a 34-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman — were not injured, police said.

The suspects fled in a small Chevrolet vehicle with some of the victims’ belongings, Aaron said. They dumped the items in an alley on 23rd Avenue North, a location the killers may be familiar with, he added.

The belongings have been recovered and are being processed for clues, police said.

The killing of Teal and Sarrantonio has led police to investigate whether the suspects are responsible for other shootings in the city earlier this month.

One of them occurred early Tuesday on Alta Loma Road. Kendall Rice, 31, was waiting for a bus there to go to work at Vanderbilt Medical Center when, at about 5 a.m., two suspects tried to rob him, police said.

The gunmen, who used a vehicle similar to the one used in the Friday killings, shot him to death too, police said.

The police department “has not ruled out” that the people who killed Teal and Sarrantonio are the same people who killed Rice, Aaron said.

The suspects may be responsible for yet another shooting, police said. A woman was shot in the back while walking her dog on Aug. 8, according to ABC affiliate WKRN-TV in Nashville.

The getaway vehicle in that shooting was also a dark-colored Chevrolet sedan, police said.

The unidentified victim was seriously injured but survived the shooting, the station reported.

“At this time, we aren’t ruling anything out,” Aaron said. “Anything is a possibility and everything is on the table.”

Aaron urged witnesses — as well as anyone who may have spoken to the suspects — to come forward.

“Frequently these suspects involved in crimes like these talk — talk amongst themselves,” Aaron added. “They talk amongst their friends. They talk amongst their associates.”

He said the department, working in conjunction with other jurisdictions, had officers throughout Nashville looking for “two cold-blooded killers who obviously have no respect” for “the sanctity of human life.”

“We know that Nashville wants to join the police department in getting these people into custody,” he said. “We know that Nashville neighborhoods throughout the city want to help us in getting these two killers off the street.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 19

More strong summer storms expected in Northeast on Saturday

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Severe storms brought rain, lightning and damaging winds to the Northeast on Friday evening, with wind gusts up to 65 mph in parts of central and western New Jersey, and reports of over 5 inches of rain falling in Chatham, New York, overnight.

Lightning lit up the sky in New York City late Friday night, and is believed to have started a fire in Saratoga Springs City Hall.

Strong thunderstorms have been moving through parts of the Northeast Saturday morning. The intensity of this activity is expected to wind down Saturday morning before more storms fire up again on Saturday afternoon and evening.

A new flash flood watch has been posted for much of New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, northern Delaware and extreme northeast Maryland due to heavy rain. This new watch is for storms expected Saturday afternoon and evening that could dump heavy rainfall on already-saturated ground.

Storms will fire up during the afternoon before reaching the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to Boston during the early evening hours on Saturday. The storms are expected to produce gusty winds, lightning and heavy rain. Flash flooding is a concern, particularly in parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where there has been a good deal of rain the last several weeks.

Some locations from Pennsylvania to New York have seen nearly triple the amount of rain they usually see in August to date.

The heaviest rain will pass on Saturday evening. On Sunday, there will be some lingering showers holding on to parts of east. Locally, 1 to 2 inches of rain is expected in the heavier downpours across the eastern U.S. from strong thunderstorms through Sunday night.

New storm system developing

A new storm system will develop in the central U.S. on Saturday night and last into the beginning of next week. Strong storms will move across the Plains during the early morning hours on Sunday. The storm activity will become more widespread Sunday night across nearly the entire central U.S.

The main concern with these storms will be localized flash flooding that occurs from slow-moving thunderstorms. The strong storms are expected to bring gusty winds as well.

The storms could dump 2 to 4 inches of rain by Monday morning across parts of the Gulf Coast, from Louisiana to Alabama, as well as parts of the plains from Kansas to Minnesota.

Another round of summer heat

Another round of summer heat is moving into the West this weekend. Triple-digit temperatures are expected Saturday through much of Central and Northern California. Temperatures in the 90s are expected across parts of the interior Pacific Northwest.

Gusty winds in parts of the northern Rockies could cause dangerous fire conditions. The Stubblefield Fire in Eastern Oregon grew from 600 to 5,000 acres on Friday due to gusty winds in the region.

After a hot weekend, some slightly cooler air moves into the West early next week.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 19

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra confirm engagement on Instagram: “Taken…with all my heart and soul”

Prodip Guha/Hindustan Times via Getty ImagesNick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra are finally Instagram official: The couple confirmed their engagement with a posting on the Quantico star’s social media.

“The only way to do this… with Family and God. Thank you all for your wishes and blessings,” Chopra wrote, captioning a photo of herself and Nick.  She’s wearing a traditional Indian outfit, but is sporting a large diamond ring on her finger.  The couple is shown standing in front of a hedge decorated with the intertwined initials “N” and “P.”

She also posted a photo of herself looking adoringly into Nick’s eyes, with her ring prominently displayed. “Taken.. With all my heart and soul,” reads the caption.  Nick posted the same photo with the caption, “Future Mrs. Jonas. My heart. My love.”

People magazine reports that the couple celebrated their engagement with a party in Mumbai, India, attended by both their families.  Chopra shared a gallery of photos from the party, known as a roka ceremony, including a photo of Nick’s parents posing with Priyanka’s mom and brother.

In one photo, which People says was taken during a Hindu prayer ceremony known as a “pruja,” both Nick and Priyanka are shown wearing traditional Indian garb.

A friend of Priyanka’s, Anusha Dandekar, posted a photo of herself posing with couple.  She wrote, “I always knew one thing was certain, she deserved true love. Then her Prince came along for real… not to rescue her because god knows she does that all on her own and HOW! But someone to love her the way she loves, laugh with her endlessly, keep it [100] & live the happily ever after that everyone who wants to love and be loved deserve.”

She added, “I am beyond happy for you @priyankachopra @nickjonas you make love look so easy, beautiful & special… Congratulations.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 19

“Quantico” star Priyanka Chopra confirms engagement to pop star Nick Jonas

Prodip Guha/Hindustan Times via Getty Images(MUMBAI) — Quantico star Priyanka Chopra and pop star Nick Jonas are finally Instagram official: The couple confirmed their rumored engagement with a posting on Chopra’s social media.

“The only way to do this… with Family and God. Thank you all for your wishes and blessings,” Chopra, 36, wrote, captioning a photo of herself and Nick, 25.  She’s wearing a traditional Indian outfit, but is sporting a large diamond ring on her finger.  The couple is shown standing in front of a hedge decorated with the intertwined initials “N” and “P.”

She also posted a photo of herself looking adoringly into Jonas’ eyes, with her ring prominently displayed. “Taken.. With all my heart and soul,” reads the caption.  The singer posted the same photo with the caption, “Future Mrs. Jonas. My heart. My love.”

People magazine reports that the couple celebrated their engagement with a party in Mumbai, India, attended by both their families.  Chopra shared a gallery of photos from the party, known as a roka ceremony, including a photo of Jonas’ parents posing with Chopra’s mom and brother.

In one photo, which People says was taken during a Hindu prayer ceremony known as a “pruja,” the couple is shown wearing traditional Indian garb.

A friend of Priyanka’s, Anusha Dandekar, posted a photo of herself posing with couple.  She wrote, “I always knew one thing was certain, she deserved true love. Then her Prince came along for real… not to rescue her because god knows she does that all on her own and HOW! But someone to love her the way she loves, laugh with her endlessly, keep it [100] & live the happily ever after that everyone who wants to love and be loved deserve.”

She added, “I am beyond happy for you @priyankachopra @nickjonas you make love look so easy, beautiful & special… Congratulations.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 18

Scoreboard roundup — 8/17/18

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from yesterday’s sports events:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Final  Tampa Bay  3,  N-Y Yankees 1
Final  Texas  8,  L-A Angels  6
Final  Minnesota  15,  Detroit  8
Final  Kansas City  6,  Toronto  2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Final  N-Y Mets  24,  Philadelphia  4
Final  Chi Cubs  1,  Pittsburgh  0
Final  Washington  5,  St. Louis  4
Final  Colorado  5,  Atlanta  3
Final  Philadelphia  9,  N-Y Mets  6
Final  Arizona  5,  San Diego 1

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Aug 18

Spanish police nab South Florida supermarket mogul wanted in 2011 alleged slaying of wife’s lover

Google Maps(MADRID) — A former co-owner of a grocery chain in South Florida who police say is the alleged mastermind behind the slaying of his wife’s secret lover has been arrested in Spain this week after seven years on the run, authorities said.

The Miami-Dade Police Department, which is investigating the case, received a call from Spanish authorities on Tuesday that they had detained Manuel Marin, 64, after making contact with him and realizing that he was wanted in the United States for second-degree murder, among other charges. Marin is awaiting extradition to the United States, Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta told ABC News.

The Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office confirmed in a statement to ABC News on Friday that Marin “is in custody” and that “extradition is proceeding.”

Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that Marin was arrested at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid after police officers there observed him acting nervously. Spanish police did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

The U.S. Department of State said it does not comment on pending extradition requests.

Marin is one of four suspects in the grisly murder of 43-year-old Camilo Salazar, who was having an affair with Marin’s wife, police said. Salazar was found dead on a dirt road in northwest Miami-Dade in June 2011, a day after he went missing, according to police. He had been beaten, his hands were bound, his throat was slit and his groin was burned, police said.

Investigators determined that Marin, a part-owner of Presidente Supermarkets at the time, found out about their relationship and confronted the two. Then, he allegedly enlisted the help of two mixed-martial arts fighters and a boxing promoter to kidnap and murder Salazar, according to police.

Just days after the killing, Marin packed his bags, took his passport and fled the country for Spain, according to police. He left his business behind in the hands of his son, who still runs several Presidente Supermarkets in South Florida, police said. On its website, the Hispanic grocery chain claims it is one of the fastest-growing in the United States.

The company did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment Friday.

Marin’s wife has not spoken publicly about the affair.

Over the years, police were able to locate the other three suspects: former mixed martial artists Alexis Vila Perdomo and Ariel Gandulla, as well as fight trainer and promoter Roberto Isaac. Vila Perdomo and Isaac were arrested in April and have pleaded not guilty, while Gandulla remains at large and is living openly in Vancouver, according to police.

Perdomo, 47, and Isaac, 62, have trial dates scheduled for Oct. 22. They are being held without bond in the meantime, according to court records.

Miami-Dade police have filed an arrest warrant for Gandulla, 50, and are working with Canadian authorities, Zabaleta said.

“We know exactly where he is,” Zabaleta said of the ex-MMA fighter. “We also knew that Marin was in Spain.”

All four suspects face charges of second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and kidnapping in connection with Salazar’s death.

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