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Source: MedleyStory

Woman gives birth on California freeway shoulder

Marine Corps veteran Bolivar Vilchez was terrified as he helped his wife deliver their daughter on the side of a Southern California freeway.

The Orange County Register reports that 29-year-old Sandra Vilchez of Riverside County was on the way to her mother's home early Saturday when she delivered baby Savannah.

She was due Sept. 26, but because Sandra Vilchez had to have all three previous children induced after carrying them to full term she had not been worried about an early birth.

But after leaving their home in a neighboring county for the drive, the contractions began and grew stronger quickly.

"I told my husband, 'I think she's coming now,'" she said. As the 18-year Marine Corps veteran rushed down the road, her water broke.

Meanwhile their three kids, ages 6, 4, and 3, worried asked "is Savannah doing this to you?" Vilchez assured them, "We're fine, we're fine."

And it soon became clear the baby would not wait. As they drove onward, she said, "her head popped out."

Bolivar Vilchez, 35, swung across the freeway to its shoulder and ran to the passenger side of their Chevy Tahoe to help his wife. In seconds he had a fire emergency dispatcher on the phone and at the next contraction his newborn daughter's head in his hands.

Savannah was born at 4:21 a.m., measuring 11 pounds, 6 ounces, and 22 inches.

He checked to make sure the umbilical cord wasn't wrapped around the baby's neck and then placed her gently on his wife's chest.

Firefighters arrived soon afterward and helped cut the cord.

Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Shane Sherwood said roadside births are more common than thought. Another woman also gave birth on a different freeway shoulder last October.

Firefighters are trained annually on how to assist in a birth. Sherwood said he's helped deliver three children in his 20 years — one on the freeway and two in homes.

"It's a great feeling to be part of it," he said.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:04:35 -0700

Newly discovered audio tapes forces mistrial in Hayward grow house murder

A mistrial has been declared in the case of two men accused of killing another man who a prosecutor said was brutally beaten after he tried to rob a marijuana grow house in unincorporated Hayward more than four years ago.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson granted a defense motion for a mistrial for Mohammed Kahn, 51, and 66-year-old Manuel Trujillo of Hayward, after prosecutor Luis Marin disclosed that he had belatedly discovered more than four years of tape-recorded phone calls of Kahn, Trujillo and witnesses in the case, Kahn's lawyer William Linehan said.

The phone calls are valuable evidence for both the prosecution and the defense and it was "an easy decision" for Rolefson to grant the motion for a mistrial even though the trial had been underway for four days, Linehan said.

"No one is blaming the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, it's just an unfortunate problem," Linehan said.

Belatedly disclosed phone calls are "a common problem" for defense lawyers and are an issue that must be addressed by the district attorney's office and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, which records inmates' phone calls, Linehan said.

Marin declined to comment in depth on the case except to confirm that a mistrial has been granted and to say that a new trial for Kahn and Trujillo is scheduled to begin on Dec. 15.

In his opening statement a week ago, Marin said the victims in the case, Francisco Lopez of East Palo Alto, who was 27 at the time, and his younger brother, Fernando Lopez, now 25, "made a horrible mistake" by trying to rob the grow house at 19123 Standish Ave. at about 2 a.m. on Feb. 26, 2010, and Francisco Lopez "paid for it with his life."

Marin said the house was guarded by two pit bulls and two men, one of whom was armed and held them at gunpoint while he called Kahn, who he alleged was the operator of the grow house.

Marin said Kahn, Trujillo and several associates then came to the house and started beating up the Lopez brothers in what he described as "a vicious attack."

Fernando Lopez managed to escape but Francisco Lopez "was not so lucky" and was beaten at the house on Standish Avenue as well as at another house at 328 Panjon St. in Hayward, Marin said.

Francisco Lopez's decomposed body wasn't found until six months later, on Aug. 26, 2010, when it was discovered down an embankment off of Niles Canyon Road in Fremont, according to Marin.

A total of six defendants were originally charged in the case but Kahn and Trujillo are the only ones facing trial. Marin said three of the defendants have entered into plea bargains and would testify against Khan and Trujillo.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:57:49 -0700

Study: Changing wind patterns brings warm temperatures to the West

A new study released Monday found that warming temperatures in Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of North America over the past century closely followed natural changes in the wind, not increases in greenhouse gases related to global warming.

The study compared ocean surface temperatures from 1900 to 2012 to surface air pressure, a stand-in for wind measurements, and found a close match.

"What we found was the somewhat surprising degree to which the winds can explain all the wiggles in the temperature curve," said lead author Jim Johnstone, who did the work while a climatologist at the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington.

"So clearly, there are other factors stronger than the greenhouse forcing that is affecting those temperatures," he added.

The study released by the online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences does not question global warming, but argues there is evidence that in at least one place, local winds are a more important factor explaining ocean warming than greenhouse gases.

It was greeted with skepticism by several mainstream climate scientists, who questioned how the authors could claim changes in wind direction and velocity were natural and unrelated to climate change.

They pointed out that the study sees a correlation but did not do the rigorous statistical and computer analysis to show that the cause of the wind changes were natural — the kind of analysis done when scientists attribute weather extremes to global warming.

"This may say more about the state of climate modeling than it says about causes of warming in the Pacific Northwest," Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science's Department of Global Ecology, said in an email. "The authors ... have not established the causes of these atmospheric pressure variations. Thus, claims that the observed temperature increases are due primarily to 'natural' processes are suspect and premature, at best."

Johnstone and co-author Nathan Mantua, a research scientist with the NOAA Fisheries Service in Santa Cruz, California, pointed to the fact that one steep ocean warming period from 1920 to 1940 predates the big increases in greenhouse gases, and an ocean cooling period from 1998 to 2013 came while global average temperatures were at or near all-time highs.

They also noted that the wind changes consistently preceded the ocean surface temperature variations by about four months, showing the wind was causing the changes to temperature, not the other way around.

James Overland, a research oceanographer at the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, said the study reinforced findings that the North Pacific has a lot of natural variability in 5- to 20-year time scales, and he reached the same conclusions on changes in the Bering Sea.

"Natural variability cannot be ruled out as an important mechanism," he said in an email.

During the entire period from 1900 to 2012, there has been an increase of about 1 degree Fahrenheit in ocean surface temperatures in the area from Hawaii to Alaska, and down the coast to British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California, the study said.

The wind acts to change temperature through speed and direction. When the wind blows faster across the water, evaporation increases, and like sweat drying on the skin, cools the water surface. Winds from the south drive warmer air and water to the region. Winds from the north drive in colder air and water.

Mantua said he and Johnstone took the potential inaccuracy of the data into account, comparing it to several other sources, including land surface air temperatures along the coast, which also agreed.

"It just seems to us it's a pretty simple story," said Mantua. "Yet it's going to take people by surprise, because it is ingrained in our minds that if the climate warms up in the course of the century, it's probably because of global warming, the increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases and other things humans have done that have pushed it in a warming direction."

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:57:11 -0700

Could Apple's big weekend have been even bigger?

If you've seen the headlines, you know Apple had a pretty good weekend.

The company reportedly sold more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models in the first three days they were on sale. (Video via Apple

The sales broke its previous first-weekend sales record set last year, when Apple sold 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c models, also in the first three days. (Video via Apple

Some are pointing to the new phones' larger screens -- 4.7 and 5.5 inches respectively -- as the reason for the increased demand.  

Which could be at least part of it. It was Apple's first dip into so-called "phablet" territory, a corner of the market previously led by companies such as Samsung and LG.

But others are saying Apple's gaudy first-weekend numbers might have been more about Apple -- and not only a measure of consumer demand.

As The New York Times notes, Apple's worldwide name recognition kind of makes it a shoo-in for a big weekend.

So basically whatever product the company can get into stores will likely sell. It quotes an industry analyst saying, "The first weekend iPhone sales number continues to be more about how much Apple can supply than what the demand is in the market."

And ZDNet quotes Apple CEO Tim Cook himself saying, "We could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply."

On top of that, the phones weren't even on sale in one very important market -- China, where the device's release was delayed.  

Although CNBC says that might turn out OK for the company in the long run. "The delayed launch of the iPhone 6 in China is now also likely to shift from a negative to a positive, since Apple's results for the next quarter are likely to get a boost from that event as well."

According to The New York Times, iPhone sales were on the "upper end" of analysts' projections -- which ranged from "6.5 million to the 'low teens' of millions of sales."

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:49:42 -0700

Company copies keys from photos

Technology can be amazing, even for mundane chores like replacing lost keys. 

The emerging company Keys Duplicated wields computers that can read the grooves of your key to the millimeter from just a couple of photos. (Video via NBC)

And better yet, a new key costs only $6. The problem: No ID verification is required. Naturally, the fear is the site could enable thieves to walk right into your home. 

NBC sat down with the CEO of Keys Duplicated, Ali Rahimi, who did admit there's a chance someone could use the company to break into a home. He said the chances were unlikely, though.

RAHIMI: "It ever happens, it's going to be a jilted ex-lover or disgruntled co-worker." 

As if that makes it any better. Some might argue that response is a little too chill when one's house can be broken into for the price of lunch. But possibly for that reason, the site does offer two proposed safeguards against thieves. 

A credit card is needed, which the company argues creates an easy-to-follow paper trail. Also, for the technology work, high-quality photos of both the front and back of the key are required. So a picture while you're walking by won't do, but if you valet your car and your house key's on that key ring, that could be a different story. 

Now, considering how easy it can be for someone to get a hold of a credit card number, that first safeguard doesn't seem so safe. As for the second safeguard, we continue the blessing and curse of better technology — cellphone manufacturers are fighting each other to have the most professional-grade cameras. 

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the new iPhone shows improvements in autofocus speed, finer exposure adjustment and a greater depth of field. Even a quick picture becomes sharper and arguably more dangerous. 

NBC said no cases of theft or burglary have been reported to Keys Duplicated but also noted the company is still relatively new. 

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:49:01 -0700

How to keep intruders off the White House lawn

You've already heard two intruders scaled this fence and made their way onto the White House lawn this month, one even making it through the White House doors.  

President Barrack Obama wasn't home either time, but here's how the Secret Service might make sure that's not going to happen again.

According to The Wall Street Journal, that fence is 9 feet high, sits on a stone-and-concrete base and has decorative spikes at the top. A former Secret Service agent told CNN one way to help is to curve the top. 

"Even if it's something as simple as curving the bars over towards the street side, the Pennsylvania Avenue side, which would make it harder to scale. Remember: Time buys you options. Right now, they don't have time. You scale the fence, you're almost right at the door."

Officials say they didn't shoot the man because he appeared to be unarmed. Still, it was the first time any lawn-jumper has made it through the White House doors, which — as you just heard — is easy if you can just get over the fence.  

We've since learned the man carried a 3-inch-long knife and has post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in the military. Many outlets report that a majority of lawn-jumpers have turned out to have a mental disorder, something officials hope to identify with a possible new security measure. 

"A law enforcement official tells me the Secret Service is considering setting up checkpoints for tourists blocks away from the White House. That would be an unprecedented change here."

One unidentified official told The New York Times that would involve bag checks and interaction with people so security personnel could possibly screen those who could potentially cause issues. But — and here's how we know it might take a little while to see any changes — that official added: 

"Changes to the security around the White House are often complicated because the United States Parks Police, the White House Historical Association, the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia and the Secret Service all have to coordinate the effort."

Ah, bureaucracy. Despite all this discussion of new ideas, it's unclear when or if changes will actually happen. Officials are investigating the incident, and the White House released a statement shortly after it, saying the president has "full confidence in the Secret Service."

This video includes images from Getty Images.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:45:10 -0700

Oakland mother charged in cocaine death of infant son

An Oakland woman has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and child abuse for the death in May of her 2-year-old son, who ingested cocaine while in her care, authorities said Monday.

Fayson Howard, 39, is scheduled to appear in Alameda County Superior Court today to possibly enter a plea to the charges involving the death of her son at her apartment in the 3600 block of 39th Avenue on May 23.

Prosecutors didn't disclose the boy's name, identifying him in court documents as John Doe.

Oakland police Sgt. Eric Milina wrote in a probable cause statement that Howard was the primary caregiver for the boy at her apartment and an autopsy disclosed that his cause of death was acute cocaine ingestion.

Howard admitted to police that she was using cocaine and was taking care of him at the time of his death.

Howard was arrested recently at the Magnolia Women's Recovery Program in Hayward, which is a long-term residential substance abuse program for pregnant and postpartum women with young children.

Howard is being held at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in lieu of $130,000 bail.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:58:33 -0700

Two dead, six injured in Gilroy crash

Two people were killed and six were injured over the weekend in a head-on collision on state Highway 152 outside of Gilroy, California Highway Patrol officials said Monday.

The CHP received a call at 9:48 a.m. Saturday about a two-vehicle accident blocking both lanes of Highway 152 in the Pacheco Pass area west of Lovers Lane in southeastern Santa Clara County.

A 53-year-old man from San Jose was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Cruze heading east on the highway with two passengers, a 65-year-old woman from Campbell and a 54-year-old woman from San Jose, CHP officials said.

The Chevrolet Cruze collided with a 2012 Chevrolet Malibu driven by a 20-year-old Sylmar woman who was headed west, according to the CHP.

The driver of the Chevrolet Cruze and his passenger from Campbell died at the scene and the second passenger suffered major injuries and was transported to a hospital, according to the CHP.

The Sylmar woman and at least three of her four passengers also suffered major injuries and all five were hospitalized, CHP officials said.

The accident blocked the two-lane highway for two and a half hours and the CHP had to reroute eastbound traffic onto Frazier Lake Road and westbound traffic onto Lovers Lane, both in San Benito County.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. Officers do not suspect that alcohol or drugs were factors in the collision, according to the CHP.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:48:03 -0700

South San Francisco teen arrested on stolen and DUI charges

South San Francisco police have arrested a 16-year-old teen under suspicion of stealing a car and crashing it while intoxicated.

Police say the teen took the car from a relative around 4 a.m. Saturday, lost control, crashed it into three parked vehicles in the 600 block of Mayfair Avenue, then fled the scene.

Officers found the teen a short distance from the crash scene and placed him under arrest on suspicion of DUI, hit and run, possession of a stolen vehicle and a curfew violation.

No injuries were reported as a result of the collision, police reported.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 08:43:07 -0700

Woman fatally struck on Highway 680 on-ramp

A woman was struck and killed late Sunday night as she stood on an Interstate Highway 680 on-ramp in Walnut Creek, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Authorities said the accident occurred around 11 p.m. at the Rudgear Road on-ramp.

According to the CHP, the 24-year-old woman has car troubled and had pulled over to the shoulder of the road.

She called a co-worker on her cellphone, asking for help. But then she apparently stepped out onto the darkened on-ramp and was struck by a gray Mercedes.

The CHP said the driver of the Mercedes remained at the accident scene and was cooperating with investigators.

The victim’s identity has not been released. Alcohol or drugs do not appear to have played a role in the crash, the CHP said.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 08:34:45 -0700

CHP: Lane change triggers Highway 4 crash

Two drivers making a lane change at the same time collided on Highway 4 in Pittsburg early Monday, sending a truck tumbling off the freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said the crash took place on westbound Highway 4 near the Railroad Ave. exit at about 5 a.m.

Both vehicles were traveling at the speed limit on the freeway at the time of the crash that caused a white truck to slam through a metal barrier and end up on its roof on a parallel road.

The CHP said the driver of the truck, a man in his 40s, suffered some cuts to the forehead and other minor injuries. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.

The other driver was uninjured.

No one has been cited in the crash which remains under investigation.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 08:02:07 -0700

Giuliani joins gamemaker's battle with former Panamanian dictator

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has joined Activision's fight to dismiss a lawsuit filed by disgraced Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega against the company's popular "Call of Duty" videogame franchise.

Activision Blizzard Inc. announced Monday that Giuliani and his firm will ask a Los Angeles judge to dismiss Noriega's lawsuit, which claims his likeness was used without permission in the 2012 game "Call of Duty Black Ops II."

Noriega sued Activision in July, claiming the company depicted him as a "kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state."

"What's astonishing is that Manuel Noriega, a notorious dictator who is in prison for the heinous crimes he committed, is upset about being portrayed as a criminal and enemy of the state in the game Call of Duty," Giuliani wrote in a statement. "Quite simply, it's absurd."

Activision contends that if Noriega's lawsuit goes forward, it could impact how historical figures are depicted in video games, as well as television and movies. The company's games have featured historical figures such as President John F. Kennedy and Fidel Castro, the company noted in a news release.

The lawsuit contends Noriega's inclusion in the game increased the profits Activision earned from "Black Ops II." The game earned more than $1 billion in sales within 15 days after it was released in 2012.

In addition to leading New York City's government for two terms — including during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — Giuliani is a former U.S. attorney and ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

Activision said in a release announcing Giuliani's involvement in the case that the company plans to argue the game's depiction of Noriega is covered by free speech provisions.

"Black Ops II" featured a storyline involving the waning years of the Cold War in the 1980s, with Noriega aiding the game's key villain.

In real life, Noriega was toppled in 1989 by a U.S. invasion and served a 17-year drug trafficking sentence in the United States. He later was convicted in France of money laundering, and that country repatriated him to Panama in December 2011. Noriega, 80, is serving a 60-year sentence for murder, embezzlement and corruption.

He has had health issues in recent months and been treated for high blood pressure, flu and bronchitis. His family also has said he has a benign brain tumor and heart trouble.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:39:20 -0700

Firefighters make progress in battle with raging Sierra wildfire

Crews battling a huge Northern California wildfire threatening thousands of homes braced for hotter temperatures and erratic winds Monday after cooler, wet weather helped them make progress over the weekend.

The fire east of Sacramento had burned through 137 square miles as of Monday morning, an increase of about 9 square miles from the day before. The expected weather shift could increase fire activity, fire spokesman Ryan Lubben said.

More than 5,000 firefighters — from as far as Florida and Alaska — managed to increase containment of the fire from 10 to 17 percent Sunday, said Capt. Tom Piranio, a state fire spokesman. It was 18 percent contained Monday morning.

"The heavy drizzle helped the firefighters immensely," he said.

Earlier in the day, poor air quality forced a last-minute cancellation of two popular Ironman events in nearby Lake Tahoe, disappointing about 3,000 athletes who signed up for the competition, Ironman operations manager Keats McGonigal said.

"I had tears too, and then my husband came and comforted me," Sabine Bokslopper told KTVU, as she unpacked her gear bags Sunday evening in Oakland.

Bokslopper was one of eight members of the Tri-Valley Triathlon Club who trained for the 140 mile endurance race: swimming, cycling, and running. "I was hoping to finish in 16 hours," she added.

The wildfire about 60 miles east of Sacramento started Sept. 13 and was threatening 12,000 homes. Preliminary figures released Sunday show it has destroyed 10 homes and 22 outbuildings in the White Meadows area of Pollock Pines.

Piranio said assessment teams were headed back in the rugged, steep terrain to survey more damage.

"It has been very challenging to get access to those burn areas because there's a lot of inaccessible terrain," he said. "We had to make sure it was safe enough to enter."

About 100 evacuees were allowed to return home, but some 2,700 remain under evacuation orders, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. The fire also continued to threaten a key University of California, Berkeley research station that is home to scores of experiments on trees, plants and other wildlife.

A man charged with starting the fire, Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, pleaded not guilty to arson Friday and remained in the El Dorado County jail on $10 million bail.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:45:03 -0700

Melting glacier triggers massive Mount Shasta mudslide

The largest mudslide on Northern California's Mt. Shasta in two decades may be related to California's prolonged drought, according to experts.

The mudslide began Saturday after a glacier holding pockets of water either shifted or melted, releasing water down the southeastern side of Mt. Shasta, said Andrea Capps, a spokeswoman for Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

No injuries or damage to structure were reported, Capps said.

"It's been an unusually warm September in Northern California, so our running theory is that the glacier got too weak and released water behind it," Capps said. "This is not terribly uncommon, but it's the largest mudslide we've seen in 20 years."

The three-year-long drought has left the mountain's glaciers, which are typically protected by snow, exposed to the sun's heat.

"The drought and the warm temperatures probably contributed to the event," said Brian Nieuwenhuis, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Medford, Oregon.

The water sent mud and debris cascading down several miles and across two roads. The roads will have to be closed for several days for cleanup.

Capps said the mud and debris flow will likely affect the water quality and fishing in the lower McCloud River.

The area could see a thunderstorm Tuesday and Wednesday, which could bring snow between 10,000 and 12,000 feet or rain, which could send more silt, rock and debris down the mountain, Nieuwenhuis said.


Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:17:03 -0700

Seahawks CB DeShawn Shead proposes to girlfriend after game

After the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 26-20 in overtime Sunday, a special moment happened on the field for Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead.

After the victory, Shead met his girlfriend, Jessica Martinez, on the field.  

When they were on the field, friends, family and players surrounded the couple as Shead asked Martinez if she would marry him.

>> Read more trending stories

After Martinez said “yes,” all those who surrounded them cheered.

Seattle's KIRO-TV captured the moment during its post-game show.

During the proposal, the scoreboard said “Will you marry me Jessica?” as Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” played in the background.

After the proposal, KIRO-TV anchor and Voice of the Seahawks Steve Raible interviewed the couple.

“I was very shocked,” Martinez said.

“Football is what brought me to Washington, for me to meet her, so I think this is a big part of our relationship,” Shead said.

The couple then told Steve they plan to celebrate with family, friends and eat their favorite foods – chicken and waffles. 

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 05:16:18 -0700

Home of NFL's Ray McDonald reportedly burglarized

A burglary was reported at the home of San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald on Saturday night, San Jose police told KTVU

Sources told KTVU that the home was vacant at the time of the break-in and the burglar stole some valuables – mainly electronics.

>> Read more trending stories

McDonald was in Arizona preparing for Sunday's game at the time of the burglary.

This comes after officers booked McDonald into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on Aug. 31 on suspicion of domestic violence after his fiancée had visible injuries. He posted bail and was released later that morning.

McDonald's arrest came little more than two days after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced he was toughening the league's personal-conduct policy on domestic violence and sexual assault in response to the Ray Rice incident, suspending players for at least six games.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 04:54:17 -0700

Special-needs student raped at school, used as 'bait,' lawsuit claims

The Department of Justice and the Department of Education are throwing their weight behind a 2010 case against an Alabama school board in which a 14-year-old girl with special needs said she was raped. The suit claims the girl was deliberately put in harms way by school officials.

WAFF: "The victim says a teacher's aide used her as bait to catch another student accused of trying to have sex with classmates. The plan didn't work and the special needs student was raped in a school restroom." 

According to several reports, the Sparkman Middle School vice-principal and a teacher's aide were trying to catch the alleged perpetrator — a 16-year-old boy — in the act. CNN reports, "School policy requires allegations of student-on-student misconduct be substantiated," and that's the only way he could be punished. 

>> Read more trending stories

WAAY: "Attorney Eric Artrip filed a civil suit arguing Madison County School System's sexual harassment policy violated state and federal statutes. The federal claim was dismissed."

According to, the school's vice-principal initially testified they had no way of knowing whether the incident was consensual and said the girl was "responsible for herself," even though a teacher asked her to go into a restroom alone with the suspect.

The DOJ and the Department of Education filed an amicus brief this week claiming the school acted with "deliberate indifference," the district court "erred" in its judgment to dismiss the federal claim and the victim's family should be able to sue the school district. 

The Madison County Board of Education released a statement saying, in part, "The attorneys for the Board of Education and school officials are confident that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule in favor of the Board and the administrators." (Video via WHNT)

The case can't move forward until the federal court rules on Atrip's appeal, but he told CNN he hopes this entire incident will make it easier for young women to report sexual harassment and for schools to investigate those claims.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 04:07:17 -0700

Parents of missing UVA student Hannah Graham plead for help as search continues

The parents of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham spoke publicly for the first time Sunday. 

Throughout the weekend, thousands of volunteers spread out across Charlottesville, Virginia, looking for any sign of Graham. Some possible clues were reportedly found but still need to be examined by police. 

>> Read more trending stories

Graham went missing during the early morning hours of Sept. 13 after leaving a party. Those who were with her said she was under the influence of alcohol when she left. 

Various security footage of Graham walking through downtown streets has been found has been perhaps the most helpful. 

A man can be seen following Graham in the video, but police talked to that man and he said he last saw her with another man Graham seemed to know. Police named that person of interest as Jesse Matthew and searched his apartment and vehicle. 

CHARLOTTESVILLE POLICE CHIEF TIMOTH LONGO VIA CNN: "In fact, I believe that Jesse Matthew was the last person she was seen with before she vanished off the face of the earth."

On Sunday, authorities released photos of Matthew's vehicle to the media. It is clearly damaged and is missing part of its front right bumper. 

Police previously had no warrant for Matthew's arrest because there was not sufficient evidence suggesting he had anything to do with Graham's disappearance, so they didn't detain him for questioning. 

But on Saturday, he reportedly came to the Charlottesville's police station looking for a lawyer's contact information and then dangerously sped out of the parking lot. Police now say they have a warrant for his arrest under reckless driving charges. 

While the police are not yet calling Matthew a suspect, this newly released information has taken over Twitter. A picture of Matthew continues to be posted and people are asking anyone who might have seen him in his car with Graham to call police. 

Authorities say they are still waiting for the results of forensic testing from Matthew's apartment. 

This video includes an image from the Charlottesville Police Department.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:45:48 -0700

Ebola outbreak: Global aid increasing, but critics say it's late

On Saturday, charity organization DirectRelief sent 100 tons of medical supplies to West Africa to provide some much-needed support in fighting the deadly Ebola outbreak. 

The $6 million shipment will supply gloves, masks, goggles, antibiotics and much more to facilities where equipment is in short supply.

USA Today quotes a DirectRelief spokesman as saying, "We must do all we can to reduce further the human tragedy caused by this deadly outbreak and help communities avoid an even deeper setback than has occurred already."

>> Read more trending stories

The aid shipment comes as more and more aid workers are criticizing world governments for not doing enough to stem the outbreak.

Dr. Kent Brantley, one of the only two Americans to be infected with the disease, spoke to a Senate committee on the issue last week.

Kent Brantley via NBC: "The response to date however has remained sluggish and unacceptably out of step with the scope and the size of the problem that is now before us."

That response includes a United Nations declaration that Ebola poses a "threat to world security," and a pledged emergency mission to stem the crisis.

President Barack Obama announced a plan to combat the outbreak that will cost $750 million over the next four months and place 3,000 U.S. troops on the ground in West Africa. 

Russia sent dozens of virologists to the Republic of Guinea back in August to establish a virus research laboratory; the country claims the team is developing a vaccine that was looking promising in early trials. 

And Germany has stationed military planes in the area to help establish a mobile clinic. 

The list of efforts from both governments and private organizations to stop the deadly outbreak could go on and on, but the critics are saying it all could be too little too late.

Bloomberg quotes an ambassador from Sierra Leone who said if this kind of aid rolled out two months ago, the spread of the Ebola virus could have been stopped.

One health expert told the International Business Times last week that "we wouldn't even be talking about an epidemic today" if governments had responded to the outbreak back in March. She also said of Obama's efforts, "My overriding concern is that it is coming awfully late in the game."

More than 2,500 people have died from the current Ebola outbreak so far. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:29:10 -0700

Colin Farrell to star in 'True Detective' season 2

After months of casting speculation, season two of "True Detective" just got its first official lead actor.

In an exclusive interview with Irish newspaper the Sunday World, Colin Farrell confirmed he's on board to play one of the four main roles on HBO's anthology crime drama.

Farrell didn't offer many details about the upcoming season, but he did say the show would last about eight episodes and would take four or five months to film. It's also apparently being shot in L.A., which is close to home for Farrell.

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The casting choice seems to have drawn mostly positive reviews. Slate notes "Farrell's brooding demeanor and dark humor are a perfect match for the show's tone," while a Daily Beast writer thinks Farrell's "affinity for damaged, enigmatic, macho characters" made him a dead ringer for the detective drama.

Rumors about the upcoming series have been swirling for months, ever since the show wrapped up its first season in March. 

That season, which starred Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as Louisiana homicide detectives, earned critical acclaim and several Emmy nominations. But due to the anthology nature of the show, season two means new characters and a new story.

The Wrap reported last month season two will focus on three detectives investigating the murder of a corrupt official who was about to sign a groundbreaking transportation deal in a fictional California city.

That report also correctly I.D.'d Farrell as one of the main protagonists. Other names mentioned for the remaining lead roles include Taylor Kitsch, Vince Vaughn, Elisabeth Moss, and Rachel McAdams.

This video contains images from Getty Images.

Published: Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:04:43 -0700