Kansas City Chiefs release Jamaal Charles

Thearon W. Henderson/iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY) – The Kansas City Chiefs’ all-time leading rusher has played his last down in Kansas City.

The team announced Tuesday it released running back Jamaal Charles after eight seasons.

“I have a great deal of admiration for Jamaal Charles, his toughness, and what he’s been able to achieve in his time in Kansas City,” general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “These
decisions are never easy, but we felt it was in the best interests of the club to move on at this time. We wish Jamaal and his family the best of luck in their next step.”

Charles joined the Chiefs in 2008 and rushed for 7,260 yards and 43 touchdowns during his time with the team, but was sidelined by ACL injuries in 2011 and 2016.

“He’ll always be a part of the Chiefs family, and we’ll be ready to honor him for his outstanding playing career when the time is right,” said Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tim Tebow says New York Mets spring training is 'a dream come true'

ABC News(PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.) — Tim Tebow said the start of his spring training debut at the New York Mets training facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida, “feels great.”

“Honestly it’s kind of a dream come true being out here with the Mets organization, a bunch of awesome guys, getting the chance to play a game I love,” Tebow, 29, said on ABC News’ Good Morning America. “It was just so fun putting on a uniform yesterday, going to warmups, in the stretch line, getting back into the routine, being part of the team and competing — it was a blast. I’m having a lot of fun.”

The former Jets quarterback swatted nine home runs during batting practice on Monday. He said playing in the Arizona Fall League “really helped” him get back into the swing of things with baseball, a sport he hadn’t played since high school.

“But this will be the best for me because it’s every day for the next couple months, being able to train, listen to great coaches, work every single day and be part of the team,” Tebow said of Mets spring training. “I know it’s going to be tough, I know it’s going to be a huge challenge, but it’s something that I’m really looking forward to.”

Some critics are still skeptical of the football-turned-baseball player, but he said he’s “focusing on the love and not the doubt” that lies ahead.

“Obviously you have people on both sides,” said Tebow. “You’ll have people that are out here supporting that are great, and then you’ll also have people that want to bring you down. For me, this is something that I’m doing for the love of it. The love of the game, the love of pursuing passions, the love of being able to live a dream every single day.”

“For me, it’s really focusing on the love and not the doubt, not the unknown, not the fear of it, not what critics are going to say,” he added.

When asked which sport — football or baseball– is harder, Tebow joked, “I do not get hit as hard in baseball as I did in football.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 2/27/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Tampa Bay 7, Philadelphia 2
St. Louis 7, Boston 2
Detroit 10, Atlanta 7
Minnesota 9, Miami 6
Pittsburgh 2, Toronto 1
Houston 5,  NY Mets 2
Chicago White Sox 4, Chicago Cubs 4
Milwaukee 5, Texas 0
Oakland 5, San Francisco 4
LA Angels 5, San Diego 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE

NY Yankees 4, Baltimore 1
Kansas City 14, Seattle 3, 7 Innings
Cleveland 3, Texas 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE

St. Louis 5, Washington 4
Colorado 7, LA Dodgers 1
Arizona 6, Cincinnati 1

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Golden State 119, Philadelphia 108
Cleveland 102, Milwaukee 95
Toronto 92, NY Knicks 91
Atlanta 114, Boston 98
Dallas 96, Miami 89
Indiana 117, Houston 108
Minnesota 102, Sacramento 88

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Montreal 4, New Jersey 3 (OT)
Tampa Bay 5, Ottawa 1
Minnesota 5, LA Kings 4 (OT)

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

(1) Kansas 73, Oklahoma 63
(23) Virginia 53, (5) North Carolina 43
(11) Baylor 71, (10) West Virginia 62
Virginia Tech 66, (25) Miami 61

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Australia mom creates cards to celebrate unique preemie milestones

Ondrooo/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia) — Many new parents use props and signs to photograph their children’s milestones. But that wasn’t enough for one mom in Australia.

Amy Purling creates milestone cards for premature babies. The idea was inspired by her own experiences with her son, James, who was a preemie in February 2016.

“He was born at 30 weeks gestation with a rare blood-clotting disorder,” Purling, 28, told ABC News. “On his first day the doctor told us he was lucky to be alive.”

James was in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for the first five weeks of his life before he was allowed to go home with Purling and her husband, Scott. To help cope with the situation,
Purling would sit beside James’ crib and document his milestones through photos and a journal. Milestone cards for full-term babies didn’t apply to James.

“None of these were suitable for the unique leaps these little fighters make every single day,” Purling said. “I was celebrating milestones that seemed so simple to everyone else, such as the suck
of his first dummy and finally being able to breathe on his own, but they were absolutely huge in the NICU world. With each new milestone, we could breathe a sigh of relief and a weight was lifted
from our shoulders. Ultimately, each milestone meant James was getting stronger and was a step closer to coming home with us.”

This gave Purling the idea to create her own milestone cards that parents of premature children could use to document their progress.

She introduced her company, Miracle Mumma, on social media in December. Within days, she was getting inquiries about her cards and keepsakes.

“People were donating sets (of milestone cards) to hospitals for the nurses to use, they were donating sets to other families in NICU, they were buying them for their friends who had just given
birth prematurely,” Purling said. “It became obvious that I wasn’t the only one who was passionate about this.”

Purling said she has sold approximately 100 sets of milestone cards, and has donated even more. Pat Cotter founded The Preemie Store, which specializes in products for premature children and
carries Purling’s products.

“I’ve noticed how much parents, probably especially moms, like using milestone cards in photos, so I intend to keep them in stock,” Cotter told ABC News.

Cotter, who was inspired to start The Preemie Store a couple years after giving birth to her own premature baby, said the milestone cards help with the “roller coaster” of having a child in the
NICU. Because premature babies often are limited in the visitors they can receive, she said, photos are often the main way of sharing progress with loved ones and the milestone cards add to the fun
of that.

“When you have a premature baby in the hospital, nothing is normal and you don’t feel too much like a mom,” she said. “Progress is made, but there are setbacks. I think that’s why it’s such a big
deal to celebrate each achievement by these tiny ones.”

Purling creates all the Miracle Mumma products herself, which is something of a feat since she had zero design experience and was not familiar with software programs before she started.

“I spoke to printers and suppliers about things I didn’t even understand,” Purling said. “There were times I felt beyond guilty for answering my phone whilst I was reading a book to my baby or for
palming him off to my husband as soon as he walked in the door. There were times I would finally crawl into bed at 1 a.m., only to be woken up five times before morning. But then the day finally
came where I was able to share my passion with the world.”

She said the feedback she has received has been “overwhelming and heartwarming” and that mothers who buy her products have sent her updates and pictures of their own children.

“I love being there to support them every step of the way,” Purling remarked. “[The cards] give parents of premature babies something to look forward to and offer a glimmer of hope at a time that
is so uncertain and frightening. It helps them break down the overwhelming journey and simply focus on reaching the next step.”

Purling’s son James is now just over a year old and has pulled through the struggles that accompanied his premature birth. Purling said she plans to expand Miracle Mumma and loves the opportunity
to make the experience for parents of preemies just a little bit easier.

“NICU can be quite isolating and parents may feel like others don’t understand,” she said. “But there is a community of preemie parents out there who get it.”

“I have made it my mission to support others who will go through the same,” Purling continued, “and I believe these milestone cards are helping to make this scary time just a little bit brighter
for these families.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Duchess Kate attends opening of center for families of seriously ill children

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) — Duchess Kate on Tuesday met with sick children and their families at a London children’s hospital, continuing her growing charitable work.

Kate, 35, dressed in a blue, fringed Rebecca Taylor peplum suit, greeted children and families at Evelina London Children’s Hospital and helped to open a new facility to house the families of the hospital’s young patients.

Evelina London House, run by Ronald McDonald House Charities, provides 59 bedrooms for families who have loved ones with serious illnesses being treated at the hospital. Kate was presented upon her arrival with a bouquet of flowers from an 8-year-old girl whose 6-year-old brother is a patient at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Kate, the mother of Prince George, who turns 4 in July, and Princess Charlotte, who is nearly 2, cooed over an 8-month-old girl who has been hospitalized for nearly her whole life and a baby born with a seriously damaged heart who has defied the odds after multiple surgeries.

Kate also chatted with youngsters who were decorating pancakes in the center’s kitchen ahead of Lent.

The center provides housing and support for families, who can interact and share their experiences with other families suffering from similar challenges. Families are able to stay free of charge at the Evelina London House while their child is being treated at the hospital.

Kate’s visit comes a day after she and Prince William attended a Buckingham Palace reception held by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to celebrate U.K. and India culture.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

What we know about the 2018 SpaceX mission to the Moon

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Tech billionaire Elon Musk, founder of the pioneering space transport company SpaceX, has announced a mission to fly two people to the moon next year in what would be a landmark moment for space travel.

Many details about the mission, announced Monday, have yet to be revealed, including who the two “private citizens” will be, but here’s what we know so far:

It’s a long trip

The moon is about 240,000 miles away from the Earth, and the travelers will do a flyby of the lunar surface before returning to Earth. For some context, the distance from New York to Tokyo is a little less than 7,000 miles.

The mission is expected to use an upgraded version of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule and its Falcon Heavy rocket in development.

“At 5 million pounds of liftoff thrust, Falcon Heavy is two-thirds the thrust of Saturn V and more than double the thrust of the next largest launch vehicle currently flying,” SpaceX said statement Monday.

It would be the first manned mission into deep space since the end of the Apollo program in the early 1970’s.

The passengers have money to burn

Musk did not reveal the identities of the two wealthy passengers, but he said they know one another and are serious about the mission.

He wouldn’t reveal how much of a deposit they put down, but called it “significant.”

The company itself is valued in the billions, and the rockets themselves are multi-million dollar instruments, but the overall cost of this kind of personalized space mission remains unknown at this time.

The private mission will break new ground

“This should be a really exciting mission that hopefully gets the world really excited about sending people into deep space again,” Musk said about the journey, which will mark a first for the nascent industry of space tourism.

NASA, which has flown 24 astronauts to the moon from 1969 to 1972, complimented SpaceX for the company’s ambition.

“NASA commends its industry partners for reaching higher,” the government space agency said in a statement on Monday.

SpaceX was the first private company to launch a spacecraft into orbit and safely return it to Earth in 2010, and the first commercial enterprise to fly to the space station in 2012 on a supply mission.

The 2018 moonshot, if successful, will mark another first for Musk’s ambitious company, which has its sights on an eventual mission to Mars.

Space travel is dangerous

This mission does not involve a lunar landing, but it still has significant risks attached to it.

The passengers will undergo training, according to Musk, but without knowing who they are, it’s unclear if these two people have any experience with spaceflight.

“I think they are entering this with their eyes open, knowing that there is some risk here,” Musk told reporters about the passengers.

An explosion occurred during a SpaceX fueling operation at its launch site in Florida in September, destroying a satellite that Facebook intended to use to provide internet connectivity to rural Africa.

SpaceX was conducting a fueling test on Launch Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral, Florida when the incident took place, an engineer at the Kennedy Space Center told ABC News at the time.

The explosion was felt around the facility, and a mushroom cloud could be seen over the launch site, the engineer said.

“They’re certainly not naive, and we’ll do everything we can to minimize that risk,” Musk said of his customers.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

As communities cope with recent anti-Semitic attacks, Jewish officials urge action

Image Source Pink/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — After tombstones were found toppled at Jewish cemeteries in Missouri and Pennsylvania, and nearly 100 Jewish Community Centers and schools nationwide received bomb threats, Jewish
leaders are urging President Trump to take action.

On Monday, 21 bomb threats were called into 13 JCCs and eight Jewish schools in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island and Virginia, the JCC Association of North America said. No bombs were found at any location.

There have been 90 incidents this year alone, spanning 73 locations in 30 states and one Canadian province, the JCC Association said. The FBI and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are
investigating.

While the threats were false, Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, told ABC News the threats created “terror” for the preschool children, the elderly and teenagers who were
evacuated, as well as their parents.

“This is absolutely abnormal and it is totally unacceptable that anyone, anywhere, at any time, could be terrorized because of their faith,” Greenblatt said.

David Posner, director of strategic performance at JCC Association of North America, told ABC News that as far as the organization knows, “the FBI has not yet determined who the perpetrators are,
so we do not yet know what their motives are.” But he added that he sees a “general rise in the level of intolerance in this nation now, and I think it gives the feeling that people can act with
greater impunity.”

Besides bomb threats, two Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized within one week. On Feb. 20, over 100 tombstones were found overturned at the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in University City,
Missouri. On Sunday in Philadelphia, over 100 headstones were discovered toppled and cracked at the city’s Mount Carmel Cemetery. Authorities are investigating both cases.

Rabbi Yosef Goldman of Philadelphia’s Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel recalled seeing “row upon row of toppled tombstones” at Mount Carmel Cemetery.

“Many of them weighed several hundred pounds,” he explained. “What I saw was devastating.”

To Steve Rosenberg, an official with the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia who also visited the cemetery, “it was clearly a deliberate act of violence and desecration.”

“It took a lot of effort and intention to commit this crime. … Headstones are very heavy and some of them are gigantic — the size of a car,” he said. “This had to be a group of people that were
here for a long time.”

Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said the anti-Semitism extends beyond cemetery vandalism and threats to JCCs; it also includes graffiti at synagogues and a “tsunami of anti-Semitic
slander on social media.”

Religious attacks in the past week also extended to the Muslim community; investigators said a fire at a Florida mosque on Feb. 24 was intentionally set.

Goldman and Greenblatt, who both noted a surge of anti-Semitism and hate crimes since the presidential election, pointed to the role of the Trump administration.

“We have not seen — until last week — our political leadership speak out in a strong way against these incidents,” Greenblatt said.

When anti-Semitism is not immediately condemned by the White House, “extremists felt emboldened,” he added.

“Words have consequences, and a lack of words have consequences,” he said.

Feb. 21 marked the first time Trump directly addressed recent incidents of anti-Semitism after he received backlash from various groups. Speaking at the National Museum of African American History
and Culture in Washington, D.C., he called the recent JCC threats a “painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”

While Goldman said “it will take more than a single statement” from Trump “to show that he is serious about combating the rise of anti-Semitism,” Greenblatt said Trump’s statement was “really
appreciated.”

He added, “Now is the time to move from words to action. Now is the time for our leaders to not only speak out, but to step up and apply the full force of the federal government to addressing
anti-Semitism. … We’re prepared to work with the administration to help make that happen.”

In a statement Monday, Posner of the JCC Association called on the FBI, the White House, the Justice Department, Homeland Security, Congress and local officials to “speak out forcefully against
this scourge of anti-Semitism” across the U.S. and to catch the “perpetrators who are trying to instill anxiety and fear in our communities.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told reporters Monday, “I have seen the Jewish synagogue attacks, threats and things, which is a very serious and disruptive practice. This Department of Justice will
do what it can to assist in pushing back against that and prosecuting anybody who was a part of it.”

Rabbi Goldman said he spent Sunday morning praying among the desecrated graves at the Philadelphia cemetery but said he remains full of hope. He was joined by members of the community that included
Muslims, Christians and a Quaker.

“In the Jewish tradition,” Goldman said, “the greatest act of love and kindness one can show is to see to the needs of the dead. It was touching to see all of these people show up to do whatever
they could on behalf of those who were laid to arrest.”

He continued, “It was extremely moving. Faith amidst the darkness.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

FBI investigating Kansas triple shooting that killed 1 as a hate crime

domoyega/iStock/Thinkstock(OLATHE, KS) — The triple shooting at a Kansas bar that killed a man who immigrated to the U.S. from India is being investigated as a hate crime, the FBI announced on Tuesday.

On Feb. 22, police in Olathe responded to a 911 call of shots fired at Austin’s Bar and Grill, located about 20 miles southwest of Kansas City, authorities said.

The shooting killed 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla and injured Alok Madasani, 32, and Ian Grillot, 24.

Kuchibhotla died after he was taken to a local hospital, authorities said.

Adam W. Purington was arrested in the early morning hours on Thursday in Clinton, Missouri, and was being held on $2 million bond. He waived extradition and was transported back to Olathe on
Friday.

Purington has been charged with one count of premeditated murder and two counts of premeditated attempted murder, according to the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office.

It was unclear if Purington had entered a plea. His listed attorney, Johnson County Public Defender Michelle Durrett, did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

President Trump has not addressed the shooting publicly, but on Tuesday, the White House condemned the shooting as an act of racially motivated hatred.

“It begins to look like this was an act of racially motivated hatred,” White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an off-camera briefing. “The president condemns these and any other
racially and religiously motivated attacks in the strongest terms. They have no place in our country and we will continue to make that clear.”

In an interview from his hospital bed, Grillot said he took cover until he thought the shooter’s magazine was empty.

“I got up and proceeded to chase him down, try to subdue him,” Grillot said in a video posted online by the University of Kansas Health System. “I got behind him and he turned around and fired a
round at me.”

Grillot said he was hit in the hand and the chest and the bullet narrowly missed a major artery.

Kuchibhotla, who immigrated to the U.S. from India in 2005 and resided in Olathe, worked as an engineer at Garmin. On Friday, his wife described her husband as a hard-working man who loved America
and “did not deserve a death like this.”

The FBI, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, is working with the Olathe Police Department in investigating the shooting as a hate crime,
according to the FBI.

The investigation is ongoing.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Man accused of fatally shooting moviegoer details his lengthy tenure in law enforcement

feixianhu/iStock/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) — Curtis Reeves, accused of fatally shooting a man in a dispute over texting in a movie theater in January 2014, spent the first two hours of his testimony on Tuesday chronicling his
nearly 27 years of experience in law enforcement as well as his later work in private security.

Reeves, 74, is accused of shooting and killing 43-year-old Chad Oulson on Jan. 13, 2014, during a confrontation over texting before a showing of “Lone Survivor,” police said. He has pleaded not
guilty to second-degree murder, claiming self-defense.

Reeves testified that he served multiple roles with the Tampa Police Department in Florida. He started as a patrolman before being promoted to detective and later a sergeant. He created and
designed a SWAT team for the department, and by the early 1908s rose to the rank of captain.

He said he became a program coordinator for the department and subsequently started teaching two to three classes at the police academy because of his extensive training in firearms. In 1988, he
was diagnosed with cancer and said he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to return to work.

“It was kind of devastating,” Reeves said, getting emotional on the stand.

After surgery and radiation treatment, he was able to return to the department, where he took over the vice-narcotics division. Five years later, in 1993, he retired. He then took over as director
of security at Busch Gardens, a Tampa amusement park, when he said his focus was less law enforcement and more public relations and keeping the guests happy.

“You try to keep a safe environment,” he said. “We trained the officers how to effectively do that.”

His lawyer spent a portion of the time showing the various certificates acquired by Reeves, including one from the FBI Training School for effective communication as well as one from the National
Rifle Association for teaching handgun safety to the public.

If Circuit Court Judge Susan Barthle rules in favor of Reeves, he will receive immunity from prosecution and will leave court as a free man with no criminal murder charges.

Should Barthle decide Reeves did not meet the criteria to “stand his ground” during the encounter with Oulson, he will proceed to a criminal trial at a later date, where he can claim self-defense
in the shooting but will not be able to utilize the protection under the Stand Your Ground law.

Prosecutors say Reeves provoked the confrontation, The Associated Press reported, meaning he wouldn’t be protected by the Stand Your Ground law.

Prior to the shooting, Reeves had complained about Oulson’s use of his phone to movie theater employees, authorities said at the time. When Reeves returned to the theater, the argument escalated.

Witnesses told police that Oulson threw a container of popcorn at Reeves before he was shot, police said. His widow, Nicole Oulson, was also shot in the hand. She told ABC News in 2014 that her
husband was texting the babysitter, who was watching their young daughter.

“It was a couple of words. No threats. No harm. No nothing,” Nicole Oulson said. “In the blink of an eye, 30 seconds, it just shattered my world.”

Reeves said he “was in fear of being attacked” by Oulson so he pulled his .380 semi-automatic handgun from his pants pocket and shot the victim, police said.

Bond was initially denied for Reeves, but he was freed in July 2014 after spending six months in a Pasco County jail and posting $150,000 bail, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Family was aboard the plane that crashed into a Southern California home, killing 3, authorities say

MattGush/iStock/Thinkstock(RIVERSIDE, Ca.) — A family was on board the small plane that killed three people after it crashed into a Southern California home Monday, according to authorities.

The Cessna 310 was carrying five people — one adult male, three adult females and one teenage girl — and was headed to San Jose from Riverside when it crashed into a home there, said Riverside
Fire Department Captain Tyler Reynolds. It is unclear who out of the five passengers were family members.

The two survivors were adult females who were ejected from the plane, Reynolds said.

The plane hit the right corner of a house, and victims were ejected from the aircraft and landed inside the home, Reynolds said. Firefighters originally thought the ejected victims lived in the
home the plane crashed into.

One of the surviving women was found in the bedroom of a home and was pulled to safety. She suffered third-degree burns to 90 percent of her body and is currently in critical condition and
recovering at a burn center, Reynolds said.

The second survivor was found in the front lawn of a home and was pulled to safety by residents and firefighters, Reynolds said. She suffered airway burns and is also in critical condition.

Sixty firefighters responded to the scene, with some using thermal imaging cameras to search for the victims.

It is unclear who was piloting the plane. No one on the ground was hurt, but one person did immediately vacate one of the homes after the crash, Reynolds said. Four homes were damaged, and 14
people have been displaced.

The Riverside Municipal Airport is just a mile away from the crash site. The airport has 105,000 flight operations each year.

The Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday that the plane crashed under unknown circumstances. The people on board were coming from a cheer conference at Disneyland, said Riverside Fire
Chief Michael Moore.

Shannon Flores, a teacher at a nearby school, told ABC’s Los Angeles station KABC that she and her students saw the plane from the building.

“It was just flying very, very low,” she said. “We knew it shouldn’t have been flying that low and that it was definitely going down.”

In Massachusetts, a single passenger plane landed on the roof of an apartment building in Methuen on Tuesday afternoon, according to authorities.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.