A poignant note scrawled on the arm of a Delaware second-grader during a bomb threat at her school has gone viral, the Delaware News Journal reported.
Vanessa, a 7-year-old who attends the Odyssey Charter School near Wilmington, wrote the message "Love Mom and Dad,” with a purple marker during the lockdown Feb. 7.
Vanessa’s mother, Shelley Harrison Reed, posted the heartbreaking photo on Facebook, and it has been shared more than 111,000 times on social media.
"So my kids (sic) school had a genuine lockdown today," Reed wrote. "Some whack job called in a bomb threat. Police came and everything was fine, Thank God!"
Reed told WPVI her daughter "had found a little nook in the classroom beside a bookshelf and kind of tucked herself in there.”
Reed asked her daughter why she wrote the message on her arm. Vanessa’s answer brought her to tears, WTXF reported.
“In case the bad guy got to us and I got killed, you and daddy would know I love you,” Reed said her daughter replied.
"I can't seem to shake this awful feeling, feeling of sadness, fear and plain disgusts (sic) for this new 'normal' our kids have to deal with on any given day," Reed wrote on Facebook. "It's a very scary and disturbing society we now live in, and it's heartbreaking."
Reed's post — made one week before the anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and injured 14 others — appears to have struck a nerve online.
"That's not what this is about," Reed said. "It was just about our children feeling safe in school."
A Kansas City man is accused of second-degree murder and armed criminal action after DNA evidence and fingerprints linked to a fatal shooting outside a convenience store, the The Kansas City Star reported.
Timothy R. Fernandez, 42, was charged in the shooting death of 40-year-old Michael Bryan on Feb. 5, KCTV reported. According to a release from the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, Fernandez is not in custody, the television station reported.
Surveillance video at the convenience store showed Bryan talking to a man, according to the release. When Bryan walked away, the suspect drew a gun and shot him in the back.
The video also showed the suspect using a tissue to blow his nose and throw it to the ground. Police recovered the tissue for DNA testing, and two days later located a backpack and leather jacket near the site of the shooting, according to the release.
DNA testing and fingerprints from a Q-Tips box located inside the backpack were linked to Fernandez, prosecutors said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.
A 14-year-old girl found guilty in the stabbing death of her best friend was sentenced to 25 years in prison Friday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Nylah Lightfoot, 14, died May 29 from stab wounds to her neck and chest after a fight during a sleepover in May 2018, WFAA reported
The girl who stabbed her is not being identified because she is a minor. She was convicted by a Tarrant County jury Thursday, the Star-Telegram reported.
The teen testified that Lightfoot "was like a sister," but that the two had been fighting when she grabbed a knife, pushed another friend aside and began stabbing Lightfoot, the newspaper reported.
The girl will be incarcerated in a Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility, according to Judge Alex Kim, who presided over the case, the Star-Telegram reported. On or before her 19th birthday, the court will determine whether to transfer her to an adult prison, the newspaper reported.
Lightfoot’s mother, Anntoinette Carter, addressed the defendant during her sentencing Friday, WFAA reported.
“(Nylah) treated you like a sister that she did not have,” Carter said. “You took my child, my only girl, leaving me with a hole in my heart.”
Pope Francis defrocked former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick on Saturday after Vatican officials found him guilty of sexually abusing minors and adults over several decades, several media outlets reported.
McCarrick, 88, was the former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, D.C. It is believed to be the first time that a cardinal or bishop in the United States has been expelled from the Roman Catholic Church, The New York Times reported.
Defrocking, or laicizing, means that McCarrick won’t be allowed to celebrate Mass or other sacraments, the newspaper reported.
The Vatican has laicized hundreds of priests for sexual abuse of minors, but few of the church higher-ranking priests have faced such severe punishment, according to the Times.
“Now you will see that bishops are also treated like their priests,” Kurt Martens, a professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America, told the newspaper in a telephone interview. “Bishops and former cardinals are no longer immune to punishment. The reverence that was shown in the past to bishops no longer applies.”
According to the Vatican’s press office, the Congregation of the Doctrine of Holy Faith found McCarrick guilty of “solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.”
McCarrick appealed the penalty, but officials rejected it, the newspaper reported. He was notified of the decision on Friday. The pontiff accepted McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals in July and suspended him from all priestly duties. In June, a church panel confirmed a claim that McCarrick had abused an altar boy nearly 50 years ago, the Times reported.
A man stole a car in North Carolina with a 6-year-old inside the vehicle Friday night, WMBF reported.
Deputies in Robeson County said the boy, Rahmir Brown, was playing outside his home when he was taken, the television station reported.
The boy’s mother, Laterra Francis, of Lumberton, North Carolina, told deputies her car was stolen as she was taking groceries from her car into her home, WMBF reported.
Francis said she saw her car being driven away by a friend with her son in her black, four-door 2013 Chevrolet Spark, the television station reported.
Deputies identified the man driving the car as Sammie Leonard Smith, 46, of Lumberton, WMBF reported. The vehicle has a North Carolina plate, FFY9149.
Rahmir is 3 feet tall and weighs 50 pounds, deputies said. He was wearing a red, short-sleeved polo shirt with blue jeans, the television station reported.
Smith is described as being 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing 220. He has black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.
Lawmakers in North Dakota pitched in and donated a car to a parking attendant who is a recovering addict, KX Net reported.
Members of the North Dakota House of Representatives bought a car for Mark Johnstone, who had been homeless for more than 30 years, the website reported.
Johnstone’s car broke down earlier this week, and he said he was having trouble getting the vehicle to work, KX Net reported.
It is Johnstone’s second legislative session as a parking attendant. Rep. Jon Nelson was responsible for raising the money to buy Johnstone the car.
"I met Mark, I think it was three sessions ago. He came here. He was struggling in life, he was a recovering addict. He was homeless when he first got a job here. And he just became part of the family,” Nelson told KX Net. “He was a good friend. He's been helping people since I've known him."
Federal authorities seized more than 220 pounds of cocaine on two ships docked at a California port, the Los Angeles Times reported.
It was the largest drug bust in 25 years at the Port of Hueneme, located on California’s central coast, the Ventura County Star reported. The cocaine was hidden aboard two cargo ships carrying produce from Central and South America, the newspaper reported.
The first load of drugs, weighing 204.2 pounds, was found Jan. 22 by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers who boarded a ship that had arrived from Ecuador, the Times reported. There were 80 bundles of the drug wrapped and hidden under the floorboards of the refrigerated ship, the newspaper reported.
On Jan. 28, a produce vessel from Guatemala contained 17.5 pounds of cocaine in its floorboards, the Star reported.
The Port of Hueneme is the largest deepwater port between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the newspaper reported.
A 13-year-old girl in New Jersey is accused of giving her classmates marijuana-laced gummy bears during school hours, causing one student to become sick and requiring a trip to the hospital, NJ.com reported.
A 48-year-old man was also charged in connection with the case, WABC reported.
The incident occurred Feb. 8 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Bergen County, the television station reported. A 14-year-old girl from Fair Lawn began vomiting at 4:30 p.m. and was taken to a hospital.
The victim and the girl accused in the case are juveniles, so their names have not been released, NJ.com reported. The girl accused in the case and the victim were juveniles and their names were not released, the website reported.
The victim told police a 13-year-old classmate gave her a gummy bear that would “stop her from stressing out,” Sgt. Brian Metzler told NJ.com.
“The gummy bear was determined to be a marijuana edible after the victim was tested at the hospital,” Metzler said.
The 13-year-old was charged as a juvenile in Family Court, NJ.com reported.
The investigation also led to the arrest of Jeffrey Klein, 48, of Fair Lawn, the website reported. He was was charged with possession of less than 5 grams of hashish and later released pending a court hearing.
A Michigan weightlifter used his power to move a two-ton SUV to help paramedics reach a man trapped inside the vehicle, MLIve reported.
Ryan Belcher, 29, of Belleview, heard a “big smash” Thursday while he was in Ypsilanti and went outside to investigate, the website reported.
He discovered a black Jeep Cherokee on its roof in melting snow, with a 36-year-old man trapped inside the vehicle. The man was lying out of the driver’s side window, but could not move and was blocked in the SUV by a sign pole, MLive reported.
“He was talking about his legs, how he couldn’t feel his legs,” Belcher said.
The 350-pounder sprang into action. In competition, Belcher excelled as a weightlifter, squatting 950 pounds, bench-pressing 500 pounds and dead-lifting 800 pounds. He had never moved two tons of weight, however.
“From there, I just kind of got tunnel vision," Belcher told MLive. “And then I grabbed the back, where the window was smashed out and lifted up and started pushing.”
Belcher was able to move the SUV about three feet, allowing paramedics to reach the injured man. He was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition, the website reported.
“If I could describe it in one word, It would be humbled,” Belcher told MLive. said about his feelings a day after the rescue. "This could have been anybody, it could have been me. And just getting home to my children after that is all I thought about.
‘I’d hope if it was me in there, somebody would help me the way I did them.”
A Massachusetts police officer was forced to protect a different kind of mammal when a seal pup ended up in the middle of a road in Salisbury.
The Seacoast Marine Mammal Rescue Team posted on Facebook that the seal, "likely newly weaned from mom and trying to figure out things on his own," followed the beach access path that many use to access the beach.
The seal ended up in the middle of the street Wednesday, and homeowners in the area and a Salisbury police officer kept the animal safe, closing down the road until the Seacoast Marine Mammal Rescue Team arrived.
"We got the call while we were up in the science center, and it was actually a neighborhood resident who called it in," Ashley Stokes, rescue manager at the Seacoast Science Center, said.
Police borrowed cones from a nearby Verizon worker, then an officer and a homeowner waited for Stokes' team.
"We immediately collected the seal so we could move it off the side of the road," Stokes said.
The seal traveled an estimated 200 yards before it settled in its spot in the middle of the road.
"It's not a lot for you or I, but when you don't have legs and you are just relying on your front flippers to scoot you along, it's a long way," Stokes said. "It could have been very dangerous. Just beside us is a main road.”
The pup is estimated to be one to two months old, and was given a full health assessment. The team said the seal was skinny, slightly dehydrated and had a slightly cloudy right eye, but "was very feisty when handled; as a gray seal should be!"
The team administered fluids to the seal pup and tagged him on his hind flipper, and he was then relocated to a quiet spot before returning to the water.
"Thank you to the residents, police officer, and the Verizon worker, for closing down the street and keeping the animal safe until we arrived!" the team said.
Stoeks said it's very important for people in coastal areas to steer clear of seals and call animal rescue groups or police if one is in trouble.
"They all want to get that perfect photo, and it's just not safe for them," Stokes said. "It's extremely stressful for the animal."
A spokesman with the New England Aquarium said the gray seals are wanderers, and said it's not uncommon to see them on roads or in parking lots.
PGA Tour pro Matt Kuchar, criticized by golf fans for not paying his fill-in caddie an industry-standard 10 percent after winning a tournament in November, apologized Friday and said he wanted to make amends, Golf.com reported.
After play was suspended in the second round at the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club, Kuchar said in an official statement Friday that his earlier comments in a Golf.com interview were “out of touch” and “insensitive.” Kuchar apologized and said he plans to immediately resolve his issue with the caddie, ESPN reported.
Earlier this week, Kuchar defended the $5,000 he paid David Giral Ortiz after winning $1,296,000 at the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico. After Kuchar won the event, Ortiz had requested $50,000, ESPN reported. By industry standards, Ortiz could have expected to be paid approximately $130,000.
In an interview with Golf.com on Wednesday, Kuchar, 40, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, said he thought “Someone got in (Ortiz’s) ear.”
“I was very clear and very upfront on Tuesday (of the tournament week in Mexico),” Kuchar told the website. “And he said, ‘OK.’ He had the ability, with bonuses, to make up to $4,000.”
Kuchar confirmed reports he told Ortiz he would pay him $1,000 if he missed the cut, $2,000 if he made the cut, $3,000 if he had a top-20 finish and $4,000 if he finished in the top 10, ESPN reported.
“The extra $1,000 was, ‘Thank you — it was a great week.’ Those were the terms. He was in agreement with those terms,” Kuchar told Golf.com. “That’s where I struggle. I don’t know what happened. Someone must have said, ‘You need much more.’”
Kuchar struck a much more conciliatory tone in his Friday statement.
“I plan to call David tonight, something that is long overdue, to apologize for the situation he has been put in, and I have made sure he has received the full total that he has requested,” Kuchar said. “My entire Tour career, I have tried to show respect and positivity,” he continued. “In this situation, I have not lived up to those values or the expectations I’ve set for myself.”
Ortiz, 40, is a regular caddie at the Mayakoba Resort near Cancun, ESPN reported.
"Matt is a good person and a great player,'' Ortiz told Golf.com through a translator. "He treated me very well. I am only disappointed by how it all finished.''
Annie Berry turned 105 on Jan. 18, and Thursday she got to experience the thrill of holding her great-great-granddaughter, WUSA reported.
Five generations of Berry’s family gathered at the Genesis Larkin Chase Center in Bowie, Maryland, to watch their matriarch hold 1-week-old Olivia, the television station reported.
“I think she’s cute like Grandmama,” Berry told WUSA, winking and laughing as the baby cried.
Berry was born in Meridian Mississippi in 1914 and recalled picking cotton, shucking corn and milking cows.
“She said before I leave this earth we will see a black president,” Berry’s granddaughter, Annie Sewell, told the television station. “I didn’t think it, but it came to pass.”
Berry migrated to North Carolina where she worked as a caretaker. She got married and worked as an administrator for a school system before retiring and moving to the Washington, D.C., area to live with family members, WUSA reported.
Berry told the television station that her longevity is due to "obedience to the Lord.”
A Florida man was killed Friday when the motorcycle he was driving on an interstate highway clipped a motorcycle in front of him, sending him over a concrete barrier and 100 feet to his death, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The FHP is calling the incident a hit-and-run accident, according to several media outlets.
According to state troopers, the two motorcycles were headed east on I-4 in Tampa about 3:30 p.m. when they collided. After impact, the motorcycle driven by Eric Lee Jordan, 35, hit the south shoulder barrier wall on an overpass, WTSP reported. The impact ejected Jordan from his motorcycle and over the wall, and he fell to the road beneath the interstate, the television station reported.
The other motorcyclist and his passenger, Amy Jones, 30, of Dover, were in front of Jordan and stopped, WFLA reported. However, state troopers said the driver fled, leaving Jones at the scene, WTVT reported.
Jordan was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries, WFLA reported.
The driver who left Jones is described as a white male and possibly named “A.J.," WTSP reported. He was driving a black motorcycle, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the FHP at 813-558-1800 or by dialing *347.
Union County sheriff’s detectives were staking out an area Thursday near Wesley Chapel, North Carolina, when they saw two males leave a red vehicle.
The suspicious people put on ski masks and hoodies and kicked in the front door of a residence.
Detectives "noticed they started putting on ski masks covering their faces putting hoodies on their heads, then they made their way toward the house and kicked the front door in," said Tony Underwood with the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
Patrol officers were called in and after a short time, the intruders left the house carrying a bag and got back into a vehicle where a driver was waiting.
Authorities stopped the vehicle near Goldmine Road and Corporate Center Road.
"I heard sirens, and I saw a lot of Sheriff's Office deputies driving really fast down the street," neighbor Shannon Skiscin said.
Two of the suspects were taken into custody and the third fled on foot but was apprehended a short time later.
Inside the vehicle, authorities found a 9 mm handgun, Taser, cellphones, ski masks and about 1,100 Xanax bars.
The three suspects were Gabriel Alexander Oyuch, 20, of Matthews, Jaydan Burwell, 20, of Charlotte, and Michael Lamonte Byrd, 24, of Charlotte.
"I've never (sic) known nothing to happen,” neighbor Tammy Heath said. “I've fallen asleep with my door unlocked."
Detectives then executed a search warrant for the home and found marijuana, about 200 Xanax bars, Roxicodone and more than $2,400 in cash.
The two people arrested in the home were Michael Joseph Tabbit, 18, of Wesley Chapel, and Jonathan Troy Sierski, 20, who lives at the house.
Oyuch was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit a felony, felonious breaking and entering and possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule IV controlled substance.
Burwell was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit a felony, felonious breaking and entering, felony larceny and possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule IV controlled substance.
Byrd was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit a felony, felonious breaking and entering, felony larceny and possession with intent to sell and deliver a Schedule IV controlled substance.
Tabbit and Swierski also face numerous drug charges.
“Outstanding police work,” Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey said. “Deputies were in the right place at the right time to apprehend armed criminals who boldly entered an occupied residence in the middle of the afternoon. A situation like that could have ended much differently.”
The home invasion was not a random crime, authorities said.
One man was arrested after police in Florida said he allowed an underage girl to take the wheel during a trip to the store, according to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.
Officials said a vehicle was observed be driven into the opposite lane and into dirt off the side of the roadway Thursday in the area of North Tropical Trail at about 6:15 p.m.
Police came in contact with the vehicle, where 62-year-old Mark Papczynski said he allowed the girl to drive to the store "to get her a snack and himself another 18 pack of beer," according to an arrest report.
Papczynski admitted that letting the girl drive was dangerous.
In a post-jail interview Papczynski said, "I was brought up in the old school, where parents always taught their children the ways of life," in regards to the incident. He also said that "it wasn't like she was doing it for the first time."
He faces two charges of child neglect without great bodily harm and permitting an unauthorized person to drive, according to jail records.
It was a busy day for Atlanta rapper 21 Savage Friday, starting with a pretaped appearance on “Good Morning America,” followed by being booked into a South Georgia jail on a felony theft by deception warrant. He was later released, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
The Friday legal matter is connected to a concert booking from 2016 for which a promoter paid the musician, whose real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, $17,000, TMZ reported. The rapper kept the money but did not perform, so the promoter filed paperwork to get a warrant issued for his arrest, according to TMZ’s report.
“The warrant is from some years ago, and he went through the process and addressed the issue,” Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes told the Coastal Courier newspaper in Hinesville.
A Florida man said he was going through his morning routine when he walked out of his apartment bathroom and realized his Nest security camera was on.
Adam King said he then heard a voice he did not recognize.
"The light came on and caught my attention, and I believe he said, 'No one wants to see that,'" King said. "He had an accent, proceeded to do some shuffling of the microphone. When I left the bedroom, some music or audio of some (sort) came on."
King said someone was using a computer or cellphone to watch him through the Nest app.
He said he walked into his living room to search for his cellphone or his iPad so he could turn off the camera, but he was unable to, because the other person had control of the app.
"I had no choice but to come right back inside and unplug the camera," King said.
Nest, which is owned by Google, provided WFTV with the following statement:"Nest Security has not been breached or compromised. Customers may be vulnerable because their email addresses and passwords are freely available on the internet. If a website is compromised, it's possible for someone to gain access to user email addresses and passwords, and from there, gain access to any accounts that use the same login credentials."
Jason Cook, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement cybercrimes supervisor, said it is important to use a secured network.
"It's your thermostat. It's your home surveillance system, your washer and dryer, Wi-Fi, controlled outlet sometimes," he said. "They're all running through your network, and if your network isn't secured, all of that stuff is vulnerable."
Nest said that it encourages users to utilize its two-layer authentication process.
King said he is unwilling to put his privacy at risk again.
"I don't want to put my camera back up on the wall in fear it could be hacked again," he said.
The company spokesman would not estimate how many customers have experienced similar issues.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office recommends that President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort serve a sentence of 19.5 to 24.5 years in prison after being convicted of eight financial crimes in Virginia.
The sentencing memorandum also recommended a fine of up to $24 million.
Though Mueller’s office did not recommend a precise sentence for Manafort, prosecutors said they agreed with a calculation by federal probation officials that his crimes deserve a punishment of between 19 and 24 years. They also lay out in great detail for U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III how they say Manafort’s greed drove him to disregard American law.
“In the end, Manafort acted for more than a decade as if he were above the law, and deprived the federal government and various financial institutions of millions of dollars,” the prosecutors wrote. “The sentence here should reflect the seriousness of these crimes, and serve to both deter Manafort and others from engaging in such conduct.”
Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled Manafort not only lied to Mueller’s team, he made false statements after agreeing to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office, according to court documents.
The judge also found that Manafort lied in statements to investigators and the grand jury about finances related to a pro-Trump super PAC, that he lied about his communications with alleged Russian intelligence agent Konstantin Kilimnik and that he lied about information in another Justice Department investigation, among other false statements.
Manafort’s attorneys have denied any wrongdoing. Officials said he’s turned over access to his electronic devices and email accounts as part of his cooperation.
Last month, defense attorneys said Manafort has been kept in solitary confinement for his own safety. He’s had severe gout for several months of his incarceration, according to his attorneys, and it’s sometimes been severe enough to require that he use a wheelchair.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A gunman opened fire at the Henry Pratt Company, a valve manufacturer in suburban Chicago on Friday, killing five people and wounding at least five police officers before he was fatally shot, police said.
Officers arrived within four minutes of receiving reports of a shooting and were fired upon as soon as they entered the 29,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse, Aurora, Police Chief Kristen Ziman said in a news conference.
Update 6:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: The chief of police says five people were killed and five officers were wounded in a shooting at a business in suburban Chicago.
Aurora Police Chief, Kristen Ziman, identified the gunman as 45-year-old Gary Martin.
Ziman says the gunman was also killed.
The five police officers that were injured in the shooting are in stable condition according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Update 5:15 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A spokesman for the coroner’s office says at least one person is dead following a shooting at a business in suburban Chicago.
Kane County coroner’s office spokesman Chris Nelson says at least one person was killed in the attack Friday afternoon at the Henry Pratt Co. building in Aurora.
Update 4:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A city spokesman told WGN that at least four police officers were injured.
Police have not said if anyone else has been injured.
Update 4:15 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Initial reports indicate that the shooter has been apprehended, but the area is still on lockdown.
Update 3:55 p.m. EST Feb. 15: A man who said he witnessed Friday’s shooting told WLS-TV that he recognized the person who opened fire at the Henry Pratt Company.
The man told WLS-TV that the shooter was one of his co-workers.
Update 3:50 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Police confirmed they are continue to respond Friday afternoon to an active shooting reported in Aurora.
Update 3:45 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Citing preliminary reports from the scene, the Daily Herald reported several people were injured in the ongoing active shooter situation reported Friday afternoon in Aurora. Police did not immediately confirm the report.
Update 3:40 p.m. EST Feb. 15: Authorities with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are responding to the reported shooting, officials said.
Check back for updates to this developing story.
The trial for a mother who strangled her daughter with a pair of pajama pants is scheduled for September.
Kelsie Thomas, 23, has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death after a July 19, 2018, incident. Emergency responders were called to Thomas’ home to find Cloe Thomas, 5, dead.
Her trial is set for Sept. 10.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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