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Wednesday
Jun282017

Mom angered by United Airlines after she says baby overheated during tarmac delay

iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- A mother on a United Airlines flight last week said she feared for her infant's life when she says he became overheated during a tarmac delay in a Denver heat wave.

Emily France, 39, told The Denver Post that she and her 4-month-old baby boarded the flight to El Paso around 1:20 p.m. last Thursday at Denver International Airport, where temperatures had climbed to 90 degrees that morning.

Poor weather along the route delayed the flight, resulting in passengers waiting on the plane at the gate. But, according to France, crew members did allow passengers, herself and her child included, to step off the aircraft and onto the jet bridge to cool off.

Even when the air conditioning is functioning properly -- as United indicates it was that day -- it's not unusual for the cabin to get warm when a plane is sitting on the tarmac.

After getting back on the plane, the passengers on United Express Flight 4644 continued to wait, but this time the plane had pushed back from the gate and was sitting in a holding area on the tarmac. France told The Denver Post that flight attendants brought her garbage bags of ice, but she says her son, Owen, began to struggle in the hot aircraft.

“His whole body flashed red, and his eyes rolled back in his head and he was screaming,” France told the paper. “And then he went limp in my arms. It was the worst moment of my life.”

That was when crew members called for paramedics and the plane returned to the terminal.

According to United Airlines, the aircraft was back at the gate about 11 minutes after the captain's call for paramedics. But, according to France, it took approximately 30 minutes to return to the gate.

United Airlines told ABC News that paramedics tended to the child, and a Denver International Airport spokesperson told ABC News that medics were called Thursday afternoon for an infant suffering from shortness of breath.

According to The Denver Post, France's son was home on Friday after receiving treatment at a Denver hospital.

In an emailed statement to ABC News, France said: "It is not right for United to expose infant passengers to temperatures that are dangerous for them. And it is not right that they can’t evacuate them quickly. I am sharing Owen’s story in the hopes that this never happens to anyone ever again."

United told ABC News that it apologized to the customer and is actively looking into the incident.

"This should never have happened," United said in a statement. "We are profoundly sorry and apologize to our customer and her child for the experience they endured. We are actively looking into what happened to prevent this from occurring again."

A spokesperson for United also said that medical care was provided to the child within 16 minutes of the captain’s call for paramedics.

The airline's policy says it will "maintain comfortable cabin temperatures, and ensure adequate medical attention if needed while the aircraft remains on the tarmac."

Federal regulations allow planes to remain on the tarmac for up to three hours without deplaning passengers, and stipulates that while the aircraft remains on the tarmac, medical attention "must be available if needed."


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Wednesday
Jun282017

Fireworks brand recalled because of burn, injury hazards

iStock/Thinkstock(FLORENCE, Ala.) -- A brand of fireworks is being recalled because of burn and injury hazards, right before the kickoff of Fourth of July celebrations.

American Promotional Events, Inc.-TNT Fireworks of Florence, Alabama, announced Tuesday that it was pulling its "Red, White and Blue Smoke" fireworks.

The company said this brand of fireworks created a blue ammo smoke effect that could "rapidly dispel from the bottom of the tube in an explosive manner, posing a burn hazard."

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said 36,100 units were being recalled, and customers would be issued refunds.

"The recalled fireworks are pyrotechnic devices that make smoke when lit. They were sold in a bag containing three canisters -- one red, one blue and one white. Each colored smoke firework is a cardboard cylinder tube that measures about 1 inch in diameter and 5 inches long," the CPSC said in a news release Tuesday.

The recall affects products with the TNT logo "Red, White and Blue Smoke," with the item No. 351064 and the UPC No. 027736036561 on the packaging.

The items, which were made in China and had a price tag of $5, were sold from May 2017 through June 2017 at Albertsons, Kroger, Meijer, Target, Walmart and other stores in Illinois, Ohio, Vermont and Wisconsin.

According to the CPSC, American Promotional Events received three incident reports, resulting in three people suffering burn injuries. No property damage had been reported.

Consumers were asked to call 800-243-1189 or email www.tntfireworks.com for more information.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Jun282017

Strangers raise thousands of dollars to buy car for man walking three miles to work daily

Moodboard/Getty Images(ROCKWALL, Texas) -- A Texas man who walked more than 3 miles to and from work every day now has a new ride, thanks to a group of philanthropic strangers.

On June 21, Andy Mitchell came across Justin Korva, 20, walking and decided to give him a ride to his job at Taco Casa in Rockwall, Texas.

During the trip, Mitchell learned that Korva walked the route daily in the heat -- and in his uniform -- as he saved up for a car. Mitchell posted a picture of the two of them on social media, sharing Korva's story.

"I usually don't post stuff on [Facebook] like that. For whatever reason, I just felt compelled to do it. The situation of this young man inspired me," Mitchell told ABC News on Wednesday. "To have the ability to get to and from work is a huge thing."

He said a friend who saw the post then asked to share it, saying, "Let's get this kid a car!"

The fundraising effort to get Korva a car took off from there. Mitchell and his friends began to secretly collect funds through a donation box they left in a local diner. Within 30 hours, the group had raised $5,500.

"We had a lot of people in the community of Rockwall that donated," Mitchell said. "Too many names to count, really."

The money not only purchased a 2004 Toyota Camry for Korva, but also a $500 gas card, two years of free oil changes and one year of car insurance.

Mitchell's wife, Mandi Morton Mitchell, captured the moment Friday as the group surprised Korva with the Camry.

Mitchell encouraged others to follow the group's lead.

"It doesn't have to be a car. It can just be any small thing that you want to do to help somebody on the side. You never know how it's going to change their life," he said.


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Wednesday
Jun282017

Nearly 250 potential jurors dismissed from selection for Martin Shkreli's fraud trial

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Multiple potential jurors who were dismissed from the securities fraud trial against Martin Shkreli had expressed strong objections toward the former pharmaceutical CEO notorious for his drastic increase in the price of a life-saving drug.

Jury selection for 34-year-old Shkreli’s trial has proved difficult, with nearly 250 potential jurors dismissed in just two days for the securities fraud trial in New York.

Of 178 jurors, 47 were selected on Monday, while 16 out of 69 jurors were selected voir dire on Tuesday.

One potential juror, a woman in her 20s, said she had heard of Shkreli and his influence on the "price of drugs."

"He just seemed to care about himself," she told pool reporters at the Federal District Court in Brooklyn.

Shkreli made headlines in 2015 for raising the price of Daraprim, an anti-parasitic drug used to treat infections from $13.50 to $750 a tablet after acquiring the drug from another pharmaceutical company.

Days later, Shkreli told ABC News that the company would lower the price of Daraprim "to a point that is more affordable and is able to allow the company to make a profit, but a very small profit."

The drug is used by those with cancer or HIV. Before Shkreli's announcement, Turing Pharmaceuticals released a statement saying it was aiming to create new medications to treat the disease in an effort to reduce the side effects and that the higher price would subsidize costs for developing new drugs.

A woman in her 40s who said she had been a health care professional for "half of her life," said she doesn’t think she was an appropriate choice for a juror.

"I have friends on the drug," she said. "I've cried with them. I don't think I'm the right person to sit."

A man in his 40s told reporters that he had a "very negative opinion" of Shkreli, while another woman in her 40s said she was "opinionated" and has a "problem with corporate greed."

Shkreli is on trial for charges unrelated to drug pricing. He was arrested in December 2015 on multiple charges of securities and wire fraud related to different companies he founded, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare.

In recent video live streams posted online, Shkreli has expressed confidence about his trial.

"I'm so innocent, and I intend to prove it," he said.

Jury selection in the trial will continue on Wednesday.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun272017

Wall Street closes lower amid tech sell-off, health-care vote delay

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street closed in the red on Tuesday amid a tech sell-off and after Senate Republicans delayed their health-care vote.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 98.89 (-0.46 percent) to finish at 21,310.66.

The Nasdaq tumbled 100.53 (-1.61 percent) to close at 6,146.62, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,419.38, down 19.69 (-0.81 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was about 2 percent higher with prices over $44 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  Shares of Alphabet Inc. sunk 2.5 percent after the European Union fined the Google parent company about $2.7 billion for breaching competition rules in its comparison shopping service.

Sprint Corp. is reportedly in talks with Charter Communications and Comcast Corp. as the cable giants are exploring offering wireless service to its customers. Sprint's stock jumped 2 percent.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun272017

Video shows chaotic scene inside Apple store as shots are fired in mall

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New surveillance video shows the chaotic and terrifying scene inside an Apple store as gunfire erupted in a mall in New York state, causing shoppers and workers to scramble for their lives.

The Albany District Attorney's Office released the Nov. 12, 2016, video, which captured the scene from inside and outside the store at the Crossgates Mall in Albany.

In the video people are falling over each other, hiding under tables and running to safety. One woman nearly caused a stroller carrying a child to flip over.

According to authorities, "Multiple accounts of shots fired near a crowded area of the mall near the Apple Store were reported to law enforcement. At the time of the incident there were thousands of patrons and employees present at the mall. The incident happened just yards away from 'Santa Land,' where multiple families were lined up to take holiday photos."

On Friday, Tasheem Maeweather, 20, of Albany, was sentenced to 3.5 years to seven years in prison for first-degree reckless endangerment in the incident, according to a news release from the District Attorney's office.

Maeweather's lawyer Lee Kindlon confirmed to ABC News Tuesday that Maeweather was at the mall at the time of the shooting but he said his client wasn't involved. Kindlon told ABC News that he is working on an appeal.

"I think that the defendant's conviction on reckless endangerment will be overturned," Kindlon said. "Justice is a process. At trial, the people weren't able to show my client possessed or fired a gun that day. ... In time, through the appellate courts, I have confidence that the law is on our side."

No weapons were recovered at the scene of the shooting and no one came forward with injuries after the shooting incident, according to the District Attorney's Office. However, blood was found at the scene, authorities said.

At Maeweather's jury trial, an off-duty state trooper testified that he'd not only seen Maeweather at the mall but also had seen him shooting a gun, according to the Altamont Enterprise.

In May, Maeweather, who authorities say was on probation at the time of the shooting and wearing an ankle monitor, was acquitted on three other charges related to the incident: attempted murder, attempted assault and weapons possession.

"Citizens of Albany County should always expect to be safe when visiting public spaces," District Attorney P. David Soares said in the news release. "This defendant violated our sense of safety and has left a traumatic and indelible memory for those who were present that day."

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Tuesday
Jun272017

Ritz-Carlton gets into the yacht business 

Courtesy Ritz Carlton(NEW YORK) -- Luxury hotel brand Ritz-Carlton is testing the waters on another high-end venture: yachting.

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is scheduled to take to the sea in late 2019, according to the company.

Voyages will last 7-10 days and will include ports in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The small capacity vessel will accommodate up to 298 passengers and feature 149 suites, each with its own private balcony. The yacht will also feature two 138-square-meter lavish duplex penthouse suites, with modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by the Ritz-Carlton and the Tillberg Design of Sweden.

Ritz-Carlton yachts will feature a restaurant by chef Sven Elverfeld, a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa and a Panorama Lounge and wine bar, offering a wide variety of on-board entertainment.

Reservations begin May 2018.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun272017

TSA finds 20-pound live lobster in checked bag at Boston airport

Transportation Security Administration(BOSTON) -- Can you bring a live lobster on a plane? Yes, as long as it's in a "clear, plastic, spill-proof container" and it's been screened by Transportation Security Administration agents.

That's the travel tip the TSA's Twitter followers learned on Monday when the agency's spokesman, Michael McCarthy, posted an image of an agent holding a 20-pound live lobster. The lobster was found alive and well inside checked baggage at Boston Logan International Airport on Sunday.

Despite this lobster's size and intimidating claws, the crustaceans are allowed through airport security in carry-on and checked bags as long as they are inspected, according to the TSA.

This particular lobster met those requiements and was allowed on its way.

"The lobster was traveling in a cooler in checked luggage and was allowed to continue," McCarthy tweeted.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun272017

Marry Mas! Taco Bell to start having weddings

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The classic wedding tradition for every bride to have good luck is, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Now, Taco Bell would like to add something hot and spicy, and maybe something crunchy.

The company has announced on its website that starting in the summer of 2017, the Tex-mex fast food chain is offering opportunities to get married at its Taco Bell flagship restaurant in Las Vegas at its second-floor wedding chapel.

According to the website, “All you have to do is get your marriage license, visit the restaurant in person this summer, walk up to the counter and order a wedding right off the menu.”

The $600 wedding package includes a ceremony in the chapel inside the restaurant with an ordained officiant within as little as four hours; private area for a reception for up to 15 of your closest family and friends; and custom merchandise -- including a sauce packet garter and bow tie, “Just Married” T-shirts for the bride and groom, Taco Bell-branded champagne flutes and, of course, a Taco 12 Pack filled with tacos and a Cinnabon Delights cake for dessert. There's also a Sauce Packet bouquet available for the bride to use during the ceremony.

Stay tuned to the Taco Bell website for the official date when weddings will begin.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Jun272017

Lamborghini's new Aventador S costs $421K, but cupholders are still extra

Lamborghini(NEW YORK) -- Lamborghini debuted its new Aventador S earlier this year, with a starting price of $421,350.

ABC News' Morgan Korn got a chance to test drive the vehicle earlier this month. Read about her experience below:

I’ve seen very few Lamborghinis in the wild. Spotting one is almost as rare as the total solar eclipse expected in August — an occurrence Americans have been anticipating for nearly 100 years.

In northern New Jersey, where I live, Maseratis, Porsches and BMWs are as common as Honda Accords and Jeep Wranglers. Lamborghinis, however, are a special breed. In those extraordinary moments when one crosses your path, it’s almost as if the world comes to a standstill. Exotic supercars are built to turn heads, but the Italian supercar’s iconic countenance has always stretched that notion to the extreme. Laying eyes on one can be a titillating experience.

Take the Aventador S, which Italy’s Lamborghini debuted earlier this year. For the uninitiated, it resembles a beetle (the insect, not the VW coupe) injected with steroids. It is wide, has an aggressive nose and boasts several vertical fins, which, I imagine, could help it escape a hungry great white shark. This model was designed to be more aerodynamic, more agile and more powerful.

I track-tested the Aventador S (starting price: $421,350) this month at the Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. Four Aventador S models awaited my arrival. I immediately sensed that these conveyances were eager to be unleashed. The 6.5-liter, 740 horsepower, V-12 engine propels the driver from zero to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds. Quite a remarkable feat, yet one that the original 2011 Aventador accomplished as well. Why had the engineers not boosted the acceleration?

When I posed that question to Alessandro Farmeschi, the chief operating officer of Automobili Lamborghini America, he smiled. In the real world, drivers seldom accelerate that quickly, he explained. And drivers invariably don’t reach the top speed of 217 mph either.

That’s the one downside of owning such a rarefied — and painfully expensive — supercar like a Lamborghini: Its true potential cannot be realized. It’s a preternatural specimen of craftsmanship and technology, and few drivers know how to handle that much power in a car. And sadly, the Aventador S would not make for a comfortable daily drive. Basic amenities that are commonplace in 99 percent of new vehicles (heated seats and cupholders, for example) cost extra; the low-slung seats require pants and practice; and visibility is crystal clear … when staring straight out the windshield, that is. With its 13 mpg for combined city and highway driving, Lamborghini estimates that drivers spend an estimated $3,250 on fuel a year. Pocket change for the 0.1 percent.

Michael Sexton, the Lamborghini sales manager at Manhattan Motorcars in New York City, told me that exiting a Lamborghini – whether an Aventador S or the more popular Huracan — “is like a golf swing. You create a memory.”

Cupholders are superfluous because these “are not cars you sip coffee in and drive,” he said matter-of-factly. But as a precaution, he orders cupholders in the models he sells at his Midtown Manhattan dealership.

Farmeschi assured me that the Aventador S could be driven every day.

“It’s a car that expresses the highest performance on the racetrack … and you can enjoy it driving on the normal streets as well,” he said. “If you drove it from New York City to Washington, D.C., you would feel quite relaxed when you got out.”

I certainly hope so. To truly get an understanding of the car’s handling and capabilities, I buckled myself into the passenger seat and let a pro Lamborghini driver take me for a spin. The Aventador S certainly handled each curve and bend brilliantly, and the new four-wheel steering system allowed it to maneuver easily and respond to the driver’s movements more naturally. The sharp turns and unexpected shifting were second nature to the pro driver; after lap three my body was begging for the head bobbing to end. We pulled into the pit, and I swung open the scissor door, making a mental note to call a chiropractor later. Racecar drivers perform exercises to strengthen the muscles in their necks, I was informed. I’ll have to remember that smart advice for next time.

Lamborghinis have a surprisingly young customer base. Farmeschi told me the average buyer is 40 to 45 years old and the company has been making inroads with millennials, who are enticed by the car’s “unmistakable design and sharp curves.” Young people are just one segment the 53-year-old Lamborghini has been wooing; when the company launches its SUV later this year, it will be marketing itself to families. The company expects the gamble to pay off: It’s doubling the number of employees and expanding its factory outside Bologna to accommodate anticipated demand.

Sexton said the Aventador S was a “night and day” experience from its predecessor the Aventador. This vehicle “feels lighter and more nimble” compared with the “beast” of the Aventador, he remarked. Four Aventador S models are being shipped from Italy to his dealership; all were presold.

Why would someone choose a Lamborghini over its main competitor, the inimitable Ferrari?

As Sexton put it, “Lamborghinis are easier to drive and not as finicky as a Ferrari. A first-time Ferrari buyer cannot go into a dealership and buy one. You have to be in a club. Lamborghini doesn’t work that way. If it’s available, you can have it.”

Farmeschi said one of the biggest differences between the Italian rivals is Lamborghini’s emphasis on customer satisfaction and accessibility. He attends functions all over the world, meeting and greeting Lambo buyers.

“We are a company that creates emotions,” he remarked. “You cannot only be a product.”

On that racetrack in Pennsylvania, I found myself dreaming of gunning the engine on a sleepy Tuscan road, surrounded only by olive trees and a warm Mediterranean breeze. I didn’t need a cupholder in my reverie. My Aventador S was taking me to find the perfect cappuccino.

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