5 injured after ski lift malfunctions at Pennsylvania resort

Dec 16, 2017 18

A ski lift malfunctioned at a resort in central Pennsylvania Saturday, stranding 50 to 100 skiers and injuring five of them.

Emergency crews responded around 10:30 a.m. to the Tussey Mountain ski resort in Harris Township to lower skiers from the lift with ropes and transport the injured to the hospital.

ski

Authorities said five skiers suffered minor injuries when the chair lift at Tussey Moutain Ski Resort in Pennsylvania malfunctioned Saturday.  (Abby Drey/The Centre Daily Times)

A witness told WJAC-TV she watched as the lift malfunctioned and several chairs crashed into each other. She said many people have already been taken away by ambulance.

State police confirmed at least five people suffered minor injuries, the station reported.

Tussey Mountain opened for the season Saturday.

The ski resort took to social media Saturday morning to say, “Having difficulties with the chairlift.. we are working on it now. May not be able to run it today. Stay tuned… #sorry.”

The tweet caught backlash from some responders who felt the use of the #sorry hashtag was inapproriate, the Penn State newspaper reported.

Tussey Mountain apologized in a follow up tweet.

Ex-NBA player Lorenzen Wright's ex-wife arrested in his 2010 murder

Dec 16, 2017 27

The ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright has been charged with his 2010 murder in Memphis, police said.

Sherra Wright, who was taken into custody at her home in Riverside, Calif. on Friday, is the second person arrested in the case.

“Thank you Jesus! Thank you Jesus! They got her! They got her!’’ Lorenzen Wright’s mother, Deborah Marion, said Friday, according to The Memphis Commercial Appeal. “They need to bury her.’’

Wright’s decomposing body was found in suburban Memphis on July 28, 2010 – 10 days after the 34-year-old was reported missing. He was shot multiple times.

Sherra Wright was charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy in connection with the death and with criminal attempted first degree.

The seven-year investigation into his death has been one of the Memphis Police Department’s most high-profile unsolved cases.

Billy Turner, 46, was indicted on a first-degree murder charge Dec. 5 in Wright’s death. He has pleaded not guilty.

sherra

Mug shot for Sherra Wright.  (Riverside Sheriff’s Department)

Sherra Wright and Turner knew each other well, Fox 13 Memphis reported. They were Facebook friends and attended the same church.

Police said she and Turner tried to kill Wright on a previous occasion.

The arrests came after the Memphis police gang unit received information about the case in late May or early June, the Commercial Appeal reported Saturday.

“We looked through this case and we did one thing, we followed the evidence and the evidence led us to Billy Turner and Sherra Wright,” Memphis Police Major Darren Goods Goods said Saturday. “We wanted to investigate it as if it had just happened. We went to the crime scene and walked in Lorenzen’s final steps.”

He said they called the investigation “Operation Rebound,” according to the paper.

“We coined this case ‘Operation Rebound’ and the basketball connection is undeniable,” Goods said. “Lorenzen Wright was a homegrown young man. He played basketball in this city, came back to play professional basketball in this city and he lost his life in this city.”

Goods added, “In basketball a rebound gives you a chance to win the game. This will give us a second chance to bring closure to this case and give the grieving family some relief.”

Marion said she believes her son was killed over his $1 million life insurance policy, the paper reported.

Sherra Wright was paid the insurance money. She agreed to a settlement in 2014 in a court dispute over how she spent the insurance money meant to benefit their six children, The Commercial Appeal has reported.

The basketball starred at University of Memphis before playing for five NBA teams over 13 seasons before retiring in 2009. He was visiting Memphis from his home in the Atlanta area in the summer of 2010 when he disappeared.

Wright was a fan favorite thanks to his charity work with youth and his father’s involvement as a coach in summer leagues. Former NBA players and friends including Anfernee Hardaway and Elliot Perry attended a memorial service for Wright in the days after his body was found.

Sherra Wright spoke with police after her ex-husband’s body was found. According to an affidavit, Sherra Wright told police she saw him leave her home carrying money and a box of drugs on July 18, 2010, as he left her home.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ivanka Trump's fashion collection opens store in Trump Tower

Dec 16, 2017 16

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The first daughter has expanded her fashion empire, opening a new Ivanka Trump-branded store in the lobby of New York City’s Trump Tower.

The shop carries handbags, jewelry and gifts such as scented candles and Christmas ornaments. Shoes and clothing will be added to the store’s stock next year, according to reports. The line dropped its fine jewelry collection, and has been offering more affordable items. The entire collection is sold online.

Various styles of tote bags are $298, for example, while there are several jewelry pieces priced under $100.

The Ivanka Trump store is just one of several Trump-branded business in Trump Tower. Others include Trump Grill, Trump Cafe and Trump Bar.

While the building is open to the public, visitors first walk past automatic-weapon-toting NYPD officers stationed at the building’s entrance, followed by a metal detector screening.

Ivanka Trump, who officially serves as her father’s assistant, did not divest from her business upon joining the president’s administration. She instead placed her assets in a trust. She also gave up day-to-day management of the company. And while she does not tweet about the business from her personal social media accounts, the @IvankaTrumpHQ twitter handle often posts photos of the collection.

Opening up her own store bypasses relying on department store accounts, some of which balked at carrying Trump’s collection following her father’s victory.

First, Nordstrom stopped carrying Ivanka Trump-branded clothing, citing declining sales, which caused shopper boycotts. Then Neiman Marcus followed suit, saying it was also dropping the line.

After Nordstrom dropped the line, President Trump jumped to his daughter’s defense.

“My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom,” the president tweeted in February. “She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Law of the Jungle: US soldiers learning new skills for new threats

Dec 15, 2017 12

They are scenes reminiscent of the Vietnam War and the Pacific Theater during World War II: U.S. soldiers, caked with mud and dripping wet from monsoon rains, quietly traversing thick jungle brush.

But instead of southeast Asia, these are the Hawaiian jungles northwest of Honolulu, where the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division is training some of our military’s bravest men and women to fight and survive in this unique terrain. It’s a less familiar sight for this generation’s soldiers, who have spent years patrolling the desert, mountain and urban landscapes of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Understanding how to fight in the jungles is invaluable training to us right now,” says First Sergeant George Feghali of the 25th Infantry Division, who is training at the 25th ID’s Lighting Academy in Wahiawa on the island of Oahu.

“The way the army’s been focused for the past 16 years has been in desert urban environments,” Feghali continues. “We’ve kind of gotten away from our roots.”

The academy is the U.S. Army’s first jungle training school since the last one, based in Panama, closed in 1999. While no one here can talk military strategy or policy, Lightning Academy was established at a time when ISIS, Al Qaeda and other extremist groups are gaining traction in the Pacific region, specifically in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

And while there are no jungles in North Korea, heightened tension created by Kim Jong Un’s nuclear ambitions is another reason why preparing soldiers for deployment outside of Iraq and Afghanistan is vital training.

“It makes me a force multiplier,” says Staff Sergeant Apollo Ruiz, who served three tours in Afghanistan and one tour of Iraq with the 25th Infantry Division and underwent Lighting Academy training. “It’s a whole different monster in simple terms. It’s completely different from operating over there.”

One difference is sound. While the desert wars are synonymous with the rumble of armored Humvees, here in the jungle soldiers listen for trickling water, shifting leaves and the light thud of boots on the ground.

“Here you have to be very silent,” says Captain Joshua Geis, the Lightning Academy’s Commander. “You really have to make deliberate actions and deliberate movements when approaching the enemy.”

And where the desert is open and vast, the jungle is confining and inhibiting.

“It’s so restrictive. Everything’s so tight,” says Feghali, who served two tours each in Iraq and Afghanistan. “[There] I can move 5 or 6 kilometers [3.1-3.7 miles] in an hour while I’m dismounted. Here, I may be moving 500 meters [0.3 miles].”

“We’re usually sticking with reconnaissance, mounted most of the time,” adds Staff Sergeant Ruiz. “It’s definitely harder to maneuver and to be able to adhere to the usual tactics your taught when we first come in.”

While 70 percent of Lightning Academy’s participants are from the 25th Infantry Divison, other military branches will train here also, as well as some in law enforcement agencies like the FBI.

Feghali and Ruiz are among a class of 75 soldiers who began the grueling three-week course in November. By Friday’s graduation, they were two of just 33 to make it until the end.

It’s a grueling three weeks, but the preparation they provide is crucial.

“The goal is to be able to teach the skills so students survive, fight, [and] win in a jungle environment,” says Geis. “Our job is to be ready to fight the next fight.”

Fox News’ Jonathan Hunt contributed to this report.

Here's what the GOP tax plan could mean for you

Dec 15, 2017 12

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The more than one thousand-page tax bill released by House and Senate Republicans on Friday evening moves the needle closer to possible passage of sweeping legislation that could impact millions of Americans.

The bill provides provisions for deep tax cuts for corporations, tax breaks for the wealthy, and what experts say are more limited benefits for middle-class Americans.

Here is what ABC News has learned will be included in that bill:

FOR BUSINESS

— Corporate rate to 21%, down from 35% under current law. Takes effect in 2018.

— Eliminates Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax – Had been “rolled back” but not repealed in previous versions, according to Sen. John Cornyn.

— Pass-through deduction rate set at 20% for first $315,000 of joint income

FOR THE WEALTHY

— Top individual rate to 37%, down from 39.6% under current law.

— Individual Alternative Minimum Tax exemption increased to $500k for individuals, $1 million for couples filing jointly.

FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS

— Standard deduction increased from $12,700 to $24,000 (had been previously reported as $24,400) for joint returns and from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals. According to the Tax Policy Center, more than two-thirds of Americans take the standard deduction when filing taxes.

— Tax brackets: 7 brackets + a 0% rate 10%, 12%, 22%, 24%, 32%, 35%, 37%

— Doubles the amount of the current exemption from the Estate Tax (currently $5.5 million)

For those who ITEMIZE instead of take the standard deduction

— State and local tax deduction capped at $10,000 combined from any/all categories (property/income/sales taxes). Current law caps property tax deduction at $1 million. There are no current caps on state/local income tax deduction.

— Mortgage interest deduction capped at $750k, down from $1 million under current law.

— Graduate school stipend deduction (tax-free tuition waivers) preserved.

— Student loan interest deduction preserved.

— Medical expense deduction is preserved. It allows Americans to deduct medical expenses not covered by insurance that exceed 10 percent of adjusted gross income.

— Child Tax Credit preserved. Expanded from $1,000 to $2,000 and refundable up to $1,400 – had previously been refundable up to $1,100 but Rubio got it raised

— Adoption tax credit is preserved

— Charitable giving tax deduction is preserved

— Repeal of individual mandate requiring health insurance. According to CBO, repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate insurance could lead to 13 million more Americans without health insurance, while saving the government $338 billion in federal health insurance subsidy payments over the next decade.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Check out an original 'Star Wars' lightsaber valued at $450,000

Dec 15, 2017 16

Ripleys Believe It or Not! (LOS ANGELES) — It’s not as clumsy or random as a blaster, and for the first time, “Star Wars” fans can check out an original Luke Skywalker lightsaber prop displayed in a galaxy not so far away.

Starting Saturday, and just in time for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” visitors to Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum in Hollywood, California, will be able to see the iconic prop in person.

Ripley’s purchased the saber hilt for a whopping $450,000 at an auction last June held by Profiles in History. The auction house specializes in Hollywood memorabilia and acquired the prop from the collection of Gary Kurtz, a producer on “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back.” It’s the first time the prop has been put on public display.

Ripley’s spokesperson Suzanna Smagala-Potts says the prop appears on screen in “Empire,” including a scene where Mark Hamill’s Luke uses the Force to dislodge his frozen lightsaber and makes his escape after partially dismembering a hungry Wampa ice monster.

The original lightsaber hilts, described by Obi Wan Kenobi as “an elegant weapon, for a more civilized age,” were crafted out of 1930’s-era Graflex camera flash handles by set designer Roger Christian. In a 2015 interview with CBC Radio, Christian described finding the parts in a London camera shop.

“I brought out an old dusty box that hadn’t been opened for about 10 years,” Christian said. “Out of this box I found these Graflex flash handles. I just took one in my hand and thought, ‘There it is.’”

The Graflex logo can still be seen, etched into the handle on Ripley’s lightsaber.

Lucasfilm and ABC News are part of the same galactic family, owned by parent company Disney.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Mom of 5 who lost home in Hurricane Harvey learns she's expecting quadruplets

Dec 15, 2017 16

A Hurricane Harvey survivor who lost her home in the devastating floodwaters was shocked to learn that she is expecting naturally conceived quadruplets. Ruth Gichana and her husband, Joshua, already have five children and have been living in two separate apartments since losing their Texas home, KHOU.com reported.

Gichana, 43, reportedly learned about the pregnancy through a blood test after returning from a month-long trip to her native Kenya. She works in a refinery and her company requires the test in order for her to return to work.

“My foreman comes and tells me like, ‘Ruth you can’t go back, it shows that you are pregnant,’” she told KHOU.com. “And I was like, to be pregnant, at this age, it’s so odd to be over 40 years of age and be pregnant and mid-40s is like impossible.”

MOM CLAIMS HATCHIMALS BATH BOMB GAVE DAUGHTER CHEMICAL BURNS

A subsequent trip to the hospital confirmed the pregnancy, with Gichana scheduled to be admitted to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston on Thursday. The babies, who were given an initial due date of Jan. 15, will undergo additional testing to ensure they are healthy enough for delivery, and then will remain in the NICU for about a month, KHOU.com reported.

A member of the Gichana’s church has organized a GoFundMe page to help cover the unexpected costs of four newborns, and has raised $1,060 of the $10,000 goal.

Since processing their initial shock, Gichana said she is ready to welcome her babies.

“With God, it’s possible and I believe when God gives you something and allows you to get in a certain situation, he already prepares a way,” she told KHOU.com. “If you cling on to him, you will get out successful.” 

Mom claims Hatchimals bath bomb gave daughter chemical burns

Dec 15, 2017 33

A mother is sounding the alarm over one of the season’s hottest toys after she claims it left her daughter with chemical burns. In a Facebook post that has been shared more than 130,000 times, a woman identified as Jennifer Renee shared that she purchased a “Hatchimals” bath bomb for her daughter.

“PSA! Do NOT buy this for your children!” she wrote on Dec. 7. “Followed directions on package and placed in her bathtub. Thought it would be fun for her because there was a toy inside. After being in the water 30-45 seconds she stated her skin was hurting, upon looking she has received a chemical burn from a KIDS BATH BOMB.”

VIRAL SKIN-CANCER SELFIE BOOSTED ONLINE SEARCHES

Jennifer claimed that her daughter, who was not identified in the post, was not holding the bath bomb and has used several others without suffering any adverse reactions. Jennifer alleges that she called the company and that the batch number is “being investigated and is likely going to be recalled as numerous reports have been made (not all the burning reaction she got).”

The post has received more than 13,000 reactions, but as of Friday the products were still available for purchase on multiple retailer websites.

BRIDE SUFFERS SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION TO WEDDING BOUQUET

The toy’s parent company, Spin Master, said it was made aware of the incident via Facebook and are “in the process of looking into the matter with the licensee company to whom Spin Master licensed the Hatchimals brand,” Allure reported.

“We are saddened to learn about a young girl’s injuries,” the statement said. “That said, it would be premature to comment further on the situation until we learn more. We are working closely with the product’s licensee manufacturer and distributor to determine whether there are any product issues.” 

Babies born near fracking wells more likely to be underweight, says study

Dec 15, 2017 37

Expectant moms who live close to fracking sites are significantly more likely to give birth to underweight babies, according to a comprehensive new study out of Pennsylvania.

And the closer they are to the well, the greater the risk, say researchers in the journal Science Advances. The researchers found that infants born within about a half-mile of a fracking site were 25 percent more likely to weigh 5.5 pounds or less, reports Science.

The study found an increased risk for a radius up to about two miles (three kilometers, to be exact) from wells, but not much of a risk beyond that.

BRIDE SUFFERS SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION TO WEDDING BOUQUET

The study is based on data from 1.1 million babies born in the fracking-heavy state between 2004 and 2013. Low birth weights are linked to later problems ranging from asthma to lower test scores, and the toxic chemicals used in the fracking process have long raised health concerns, notes the LA Times.

“I think I was surprised by the magnitude of the impact within the half-mile radius,” co-author Michael Greenstone of the University of Chicago tells the Washington Post.

More on this…

But, he adds, while fracking opponents may focus on that part of the study, supporters may focus on the lack of a risk for babies outside the three-kilometer radius.

Still, given that 30,000 US babies a year are born within a half-mile and 100,000 within two miles of a fracking site, the results are noteworthy, he says.

An industry spokesperson countered that the study fails to take into account factors such as smoking and alcohol use, and says “it’s dangerously misleading and inflammatory to suggest that natural gas development has done anything but improve public health.” (The EPA is looking into fracking’s effect on groundwater.)

This article originally appeared on Newser: Babies born near fracking wells are smaller

Bride suffers severe allergic reaction to wedding bouquet

Dec 15, 2017 41

A Nebraska bride’s wedding day nearly came to a screeching halt after she suffered a serious allergic reaction to the bouquet she had hand-picked to carry down the aisle. Christine Miller, who unknowingly had added snow-on-the-mountain flowers to her bouquet, woke the morning of her wedding to a bumpy rash and swollen eyes.

“I was the scariest-looking person at my wedding,” Miller told Inside Edition. “I was in so much pain. Nobody knew what to do.”

The trouble started the night before as she and her bridesmaids worked to put the finishing touches on the floral arrangements. The next morning, she washed her face and began suffering from the reaction, which is comparable to poison ivy.

VIRAL SKIN-CANCER SELFIE BOOSTED ONLINE SEARCHES

Miller continued to get ready and went through with the ceremony to marry her fiancé, Jon, before the newlyweds rushed off to the hospital to find relief.

“She was struggling to keep her eyes open, they were constantly watering and she just looked miserable,” Miller’s groom told Inside Edition.

Miller, who said she thought she was dying, was given medication to help with her symptoms, and the pair made a quick stop at Target before joining their guests at the reception.

MOM CLAIMS CRYOTHERAPY LEFT HER WITH SEVERE BURNS, PERMANENT SCARRING

“I had a rash still on my neck so I wanted to get my dress off because I wanted to be comfortable and so he ran into Target and got me a shirt that said ‘Bride’ on it and pajama pants, and that’s what I wore into our reception,” she told Inside Edition.

They were able to redo their wedding photos a week later.