Indiana police officer killed in high-speed chase

Benjamin Eads, of Freedom, Ind., is pictured in this mugshot. Credit: Indiana State Police(CHARLESTOWN, Ind.) — A police officer in southeastern Indiana was killed in a high-speed chase Wednesday night, authorities said.

The pursuit began in Clark County when Sgt. Benton Bertram of the Charlestown Police Department attempted to pull over a teal colored 1998 Toyota Corolla for a traffic violation on Indiana State Road 3. The driver sped off and fled into neighboring Scott County.

As Bertram chased the car and approached the intersection with Indiana State Road 56 east of Scottsburg, the officer lost control of his vehicle, driving off the roadway and hitting a tree in the front yard of a nearby residence. Bertram, 35, died at the scene of the crash, according to a press release from the Indiana State Police.

He was a nine-year veteran of the Charlestown Police Department.

“Charlestown suffered a great loss last evening of one its police officers in the line duty,” Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall said in a statement on Facebook early Thursday morning. “We have a small close knit department and it is like losing one of our family.”

Authorities later located the driver of the car that Bertram was pursuing, identified as 35-year-old Benjamin Eads of Freedom, Indiana. He was arrested on preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement and auto theft. He was being held at the Scott County Jail, police said.

Indiana State Road 56 remained closed until 4:30 a.m. local time Thursday as investigators remained on scene, trying to reconstruct the crash.

“At this time, the crash and pursuit are still under investigation,” Sgt. Carey Huls of the Indiana State Police said in a press release Thursday.

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Texas man arrested for allegedly trying to kidnap 15-year-old jogger

gaspr13/iStock(ALVIN, Texas) — Authorities are saying a teen girl out for a jog “did everything right” as she managed to escape an alleged kidnapper.

The 15-year-old was out for a run in Alvin, Texas, an idyllic suburb south of Houston on the Gulf Coast, at 9:20 p.m. on Dec. 2 when a man repeatedly drove his truck past the teen, according to the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office. The man eventually pulled over and approached the girl and wrapped his arms around her.

“The victim reports that she began to scream for help and was able to fight the suspect off when they fell to the ground,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Three days after the attempted abduction, sheriff’s investigators were in the area conducting interviews when they found a Chevrolet truck matching the description given by the girl, authorities said. The driver fled before being cut off by the sheriffs.

Steven Salazar, 22, was identified as the driver and arrested on a charge of reckless driving.

“Salazar fit the description given of the attempted abductor, however, he denied having any contact with the victim or any involvement with the incident,” the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

He was booked on the reckless driving charge on Dec. 6, but was released from custody.

After Salazar “gave several inconsistent stories about the incident,” he was arrested for attempted kidnapping on Tuesday. Salazar has also been charged with evading arrest, according to jail records.

He is being held on $45,000 bond for the two charges.

“She did everything right to survive this,” Brazoria County Sheriff’s Lt. Varon Snelgrove told Houston ABC station KTRK.

The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office is still asking anyone who may have been approached in a similar manner to contact them at 1-800-460-2222.

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Survivors detail ‘life-changing experience’ trapped in abandoned coal mine

ABC News(CLEAR CREEK, W.Va.) — After being trapped in an abandoned West Virginia coal mine for days, a pair of young explorers said they learned the biggest lesson of their lives.

“Everyone who was involved in searching for us, I just wanna thank you, with everything inside of me — this is the biggest lesson I’ve ever learned in my life,” Cody Beverly, 21, told ABC News on Wednesday. “This is a life-changing experience for me.”

Beverly and two friends — Kayla Williams, 25, Erica Treadway, 31 — were discovered and rescued from the Rock House Powellton mine in Clear Creek, about 30 miles southeast of Charleston, West Virginia, on Wednesday night. They entered the inactive coal mine around 3 a.m. on Saturday looking for copper, officials said.

“All the effort that everybody put in to get us out, we really appreciate it, and we thank God,” Williams told ABC News on Wednesday. “We have great families. We knew they was going to find us.”

Beverly and Williams spoke with reporters outside of Charleston General Hospital, where they were taken for an evaluation after being rescued.

All three were released from the hospital early Thursday. Treadway declined to comment.

“I’m just glad to be home with my family, my friends, my brothers, that I see around me right now, my family,” Beverly said.

When asked how they managed to survive, Beverly said, “We drank mine water.”

“We had no food,” he said. “We just found a stream in the mine and started drinking it and hoping and praying to God it wasn’t contaminated.”

Williams said they “panicked sometimes,” but the pair said prayer, determination and God is what got them though.

“We just want to thank God, that’s the main person we’re thanking,” Beverly said. “We stayed together and we prayed to God. … We pulled together as much as we could.”

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Family friend of missing Colorado mom pleads for help in search

Woodland Park Police Department(WOODLAND PARK, Colo.) — It’s been nearly three weeks since Kelsey Berreth, a young mother from Colorado, went missing, but her family and friends said they refuse to give up hope.

“There’s gotta be somebody that saw something go on there, and if they would get in contact with the police department, so they can get to the bottom … that would be the greatest thing,” Jim Morgan, a close friend of the Berreth family, told ABC News’ Good Morning America on Thursday. “God is powerful and he answers prayers, and I’m just encouraging everybody to lift the family up, lift Kelsey up in prayer.”

Berreth, a 29-year-old pilot, was last seen entering a Safeway near her home in Woodland Park, Colorado, on Nov. 22, according to surveillance footage from the store, but her fiancé, Patrick Frazee, said he saw her later that day.

Berreth’s mother reported her missing on Dec. 2, police said. The FBI confirmed on Tuesday it’s assisting local authorities in the search.

“Three weeks is a long time to be missing,” Morgan said. “We still have hope that she’ll be back and God will bring her back to us, but we certainly can’t guarantee that.”

Morgan said he’s known the Berreth family for almost two decades.

“In this world, good things don’t always happen, miracles don’t always happen, but fortunately God is with us through it anyway,” he added.

Morgan described Berreth as a loving, caring, kind woman — someone who would do anything for her loved ones.

“She was my son’s first babysitter, and he really liked her. That speaks highly to her character,” Morgan added. “Her dad is one of my best friends at this point, and we are talking regular trying to help him through a really tough time.”

Neighbors and friends are scheduled to hold a candlelight vigil at Memorial Park in Woodland Park Thursday night, according to the Woodland Park Police Department.

The footage of Berreth at the Safeway, released by police Tuesday night, showed her entering with her baby in a car seat and getting a shopping cart. It’s the last confirmed sighting of her.

There were no leads or suspects as of early Thursday.

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Pilot rescued after 1950s-era fighter plane crashes in waters off Honolulu

Manakin/iStock(HONOLULU) — A pilot flying a 1950s-era fighter jet as part of a military exercise has been rescued in the waters off of Honolulu after his aircraft crashed into the ocean Wednesday.

The airplane’s crash and the pilot’s rescue were captured on photos and videos posted on social media.

“Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is confirming a Hawker-Hunter aircraft operated by a civilian contractor has crashed into the ocean five miles south of Sand Island at approximately 2:28 p.m., today,” said a statement from the military base located in Honolulu, Hawaii.

“The contractor ejected safely, and was initially rescued by a private sailboat then transferred to a U.S. Coast Guard vessel,” said the statement.

“Federal Fire responded and City and County EMS was dispatched to Sand Island to treat and transport the patient to a hospital,” it continued. “Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam does not have further details of the pilot’s condition at this time.”

Sand Island is located east of the Honolulu airport and west of downtown Honolulu.

The pilot was flying the 1950s-era British-made fighter jet as part of the Sentry Aloha exercises being hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard at the base.

That exercise has been temporarily suspended in the wake of the accident.

Images posted on social media show the pilot parachuting from the aircraft at a low altitude before it crashed into the water.

The Hawker Hunter aircraft was likely participating in the exercise as an enemy aircraft in simulated fighter exercises.

That role used to be handled by military pilots, but increasingly the U.S. military is contracting out that role to private companies that operate dated military aircraft.

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US Navy: Three nuclear-powered attack submarines ‘not certified to dive today’

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeffrey M. Richardson/Released(WASHINGTON) — Three nuclear-powered attack submarines are currently not operational, according to U.S. Navy officials, proving the service is still working to reduce its backlog of submarines that require maintenance.

The spotlight has been on the USS Boise, which has now been out of service for four years. Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. William Moran told senators during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday that the Boise would enter a private shipyard in January, but two other submarines “are not certified to dive today.”

The Navy has been working for years to get more submarines into dry dock for maintenance, which now includes the use of private sector shipyards in addition to public ones. As many as 15 subs awaited maintenance in Oct. 2017, keeping a significant chunk of the service’s 71-submarine fleet potentially out of service.

“We want no more Boise’s,” Moran told senators, adding that the other two submarines will enter dry dock in February and late spring.

“The numbers are coming down significantly. The standing in line has come down significantly,” he added. “We still have a ways to go. We’re not out of the woods yet, but I think as capacity opens up in the private yards, and we do a better job in the public yards, getting our carriers out on time, we’ll be there.”

During the hearing, Sen. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, told the military officials that Americans need to understand the seriousness of this problem, especially if the government were to come under mandatory budget cuts, called sequestration, which last occurred in 2013.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer urged patience, saying that the money Congress allocated to optimize the Navy’s shipyards is at least a two-year project and “to kill it now with any sort of sequestration would be a crime.”

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Pink hits back after trolls criticize husband’s parenting skills: “Do you know my children?”

ABC/Image Group LANote to haters: Pink and her husband Carey Hart do not need your unsolicited parenting advice.

After Hart was criticized for posting a photo of himself on a motorbike with the couple’s one-year-old son Jameson sitting in front him, Pink hit back with a sarcastic Instagram post.

Sharing a photo of Jameson with chocolate on his face and hands, she wrote, “Chocolate is good for babies right? Help me Instagram, we can’t possibly parent without you.”

One Instagram follower commented on the post, continuing to question Hart’s judgment as a parent. The commenter wrote, “Sarcasm I love as I am [sarcastic] too but with your husband being in the spotlight so often with his complete lack of regard for proper care or concern at times with your kids, this comment isn’t funny.”

The follower continued, “I love your music, your kids are beautiful but your husband, I’m sory [sic], lacks the responsibility your kids need in his care.”

Pink fired back, asking the commenter what made them such an expert on the topic.

“Do you know my children? Are you aware of their development? Even better: what are your credentials in parenting expertise? Are you a perfect parent? S**t, are you even a parent?” Pink wrote.

“God bless your perfect path,” Pink concluded. “I have no interest in that myself. However, do check in from time to time to let us all know what other teachings you may have for us, oh perfect f****** stranger.”

The singer also posted a blanket statement on Twitter, writing, “In the interest of saving internet space… this here is a Hart Family PSA. There is gonna be a s*** load of motorcycle riding, chocolate eating, fun having, and naked dance parties going on. Now we know.”

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“American Idol” contestants serenade Katy Perry with her new Christmas song

ABC/Craig Sjodin

In March, Katy Perry will return to ABC as a judge on American Idol.  She’s just posted a clip from the upcoming season, showing a crowd of contestants on stage during Hollywood Week, serenading her, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.  However, all their faces are blurred out, so you can’t see who made it through in advance.

The most interesting part of the clip, though, is that the song the contestants are singing is Katy’s brand-new holiday tune, “Cozy Little Christmas.” 

“One of the BEST gifts of being an artist is when people joyfully sing back the lyrics that you wrote,” she captioned the clip. “So excited to reveal the faces of these beautiful @AmericanIdol voices starting March 3rd on @abcnetwork.”

As previously reported, American Idol will return to ABC Sunday night, March 3 with a two-hour episode starting at 8 p.m. ET.

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Beware, concertgoers: Taylor Swift is watching

Getty Images For dcp via ABC/Emma McIntyre/AMA2018.jpgAttention, Taylor Swift stalkers: You’d better think twice about trying to get near her at one of her concerts. Rolling Stone reports that on Taylor’s recently concluded Reputation stadium tour, she used facial-recognition software to I.D. possible stalkers in the audience. 

According to Rolling Stone, this took place at least once, at her May 18th show at the Rose Bowl.  Fans who stopped to watch rehearsal footage at a kiosk were unknowingly having their pictures taken.  According to concert security expert Mike Downing, those pictures were then transferred to a “command post” in Nashville, where they were cross-referenced with a database of Taylor’s known stalkers, which number in the hundreds.

Dowing tells Rolling Stone, “Everybody who went by would stop and stare at [the kiosk], and the software would start working.”

If you think this is overreaction, think again.  Taylor has so many stalkers that in October, a professor of psychology wrote an article about them for Psychology Today.

But even if there isn’t a stalking problem, Rolling Stone reports the technology, in which Ticketmaster has invested, might be helpful by allowing certain fans to move through turnstiles quickly at events, without them having to stop and go through security.

Bebe Rexha and lovelytheband to perform on 10th annual Times Square New Year’s Eve webcast

ABC/Paula LoboIf you want to watch people perform live from New York’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve but you’ve sworn off network TV forever, well, we’ve got some good news for you.

Bebe Rexha and lovelytheband will headline the 10th annual Times Square New Year’s Eve webcast, which will include the raising of the famous Times Square New Year’s Eve ball, countdowns, interviews and additional musical performances, as well as the famous Ball Drop at midnight. The entire webcast is commercial free.

During the festivities, Bebe will perform John Lennon‘s classic “Imagine,” as well as her hits “Me, Myself & I,” “Meant to Be” and “I’m a Mess.” Lovelytheband will perform their hit song “broken,” as well as additional tracks “these are my friends” and “maybe, i’m afraid.”

The festivities get underway at 6 p.m. ET on December 31, and they’ll wrap up at 12:15 a.m. on January 1.  You can watch at TimesSquareNYC.org, NewYearsEve.nycLivestream.com/2019 and TimesSquareBall.net.

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