WQAD News

Dog found protecting boy as deadly fire ripped through California home, mother says

POLLOCK PINES, Calif. - A California family was lucky to be alive after an early morning fire ripped through their home Tuesday, killing several of the family's pets.

A charred skeleton was all that was left of the home Wednesday.

"When it first happens you’re just thankful that everybody’s in one spot," Lisa Marghella told KTXL.

Marghella, who lives on Sly Park Road with her husband and son, said she woke up Tuesday morning to her husband yelling for her to get outside.

"He went to go grab a hose to put out the fire and that’s when he saw that my son's balcony was on fire," Marghella recalled.

That's when two other people staying at the home ran into the room to get Marghella’s 10-year-old son.

"She said the whole room was filled with smoke," Marghella said. "She couldn’t even see it. She really, honestly didn’t think my son was alive."

But what she did see was one of the family's dogs protecting him.

"Zoe, she was sleeping over his face so he didn’t get the smoke," Marghella said.

Unfortunately, Zoe did not make it out alive along with a cat and two other dogs. The family said one of the family's cats was found alive earlier Wednesday.

Even through loss, the family was fortunate the fire didn't spread.

"Had there been a substantial wind event taking place at that time then you did have a significant risk," said Tim Cordero with the El Dorado County Fire District.

Although Marghella said she was still taking it all in, she was just counting her blessings knowing her family made it out safe.

"We understand we lost some pets. We’ll have to grieve for them, we'll have a little memorial, but the most important thing is we all left with our lives," she said.

Officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

New video shows man walking near where 13-year-old North Carolina girl was kidnapped

Hania Noelia Aguilar

LUMBERTON, N.C. – Authorities are trying to identify a man who was captured on surveillance video walking near the area where Hania Noelia Aguilar was kidnapped Monday morning.

The video shows a man wearing light-colored shoes, a light-colored shirt and a hoodie walking south on Lambeth Street, then turning North on Highway 41/Elizabethtown Highway towards the Rosewood Mobile Home Park.

Authorities are not calling the man in the video a suspect at this time, only saying they want to talk to him.

The green SUV that was stolen earlier this week during the kidnapping of a 13-year-old Hania has been found, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI reports it was found just before 8 a.m. off Quincey Drive in Lumberton.

The bureau asks anyone who lives or owns a business on or around Quincey Road and has a video surveillance camera system to call the tip line at (910) 272-5871.

Hania was at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park waiting for the rest of her family to come outside and drive to school when she was forced into a car just before 7 a.m., the FBI and Lumberton Police Department say.

“A witness saw a male subject dressed in all black and wearing a yellow bandanna force Hania into a relative’s vehicle that was parked in the driveway,” the FBI said in a statement.

“Hania is a Hispanic female, 5 feet tall, weighing approximately 126 pounds. She has black hair, and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue shirt with flowers and blue jeans,” it said.

“Hania’s mother asks whoever took her daughter to please bring her back home,” Lumberton police said in a release posted to Facebook.

The Lumberton Police Dept. & @FBICharlotte are investigating the kidnapping of Hania Noelia Aguilar from Lumberton, NC, on 11/5/18. #FBI is offering a reward of up $15K for info that leads investigators to the location of Hania Noelia Aguilar. https://t.co/0vMonzokyu #FindHania pic.twitter.com/fsJlQ5C8rL

— FBI (@FBI) November 7, 2018

At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, the FBI read a note from Hania’s mother:

“I just want my daughter back with me. I am here waiting for you, I love you and only care about you and I don’t have anything against whoever did this to you. I just want you back.”

The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward for information that leads to finding her.

 

The Muscatine Police Department needs your help

MUSCATINE, Iowa- The Muscatine Police are asking for the publics help after an incident that occurred at the local Walmart store.

They have pictures of a few people suspected of stealing an elderly woman’s wallet and using her credit cards in both the Muscatine area and the Quad Cities.

They say these two suspects were seen in the store and left in the vehicle pictured.

If anyone has any information, you can message the Muscatine, IA Police Department Facebook page, or call(563) 263 – 9922.

Clinton man receives enormous donation to ‘Scott for Tots’ toy drive

CLINTON, Iowa – It’s beginning to feel a lot like Santa’s workshop at Billion Auto Group and Scott Stubblefield is the Santa Claus coming to Clinton County this year.

“When I should be here working I am getting phone calls, running, dropping boxes and doing this,” says Stubblefield who is a car dealer during the day.

After starting “Scott for Tots” this year, he has been receiving donations like no other – truckloads in fact.

Clausen Supply surprised Stubblefield with the amount of Big Wheels they wanted to donate.

“This is stock we no longer use, it’s been sitting in our warehouse for some time now,” says Beth Coffey for Clausen.

When Stubblefield received a call from Coffey, his family friend, he had no idea what was in store.

“I thought it was five or six and when we spoke, like not by message but when we spoke she said, ‘no it’s more like 50 or 60’,” Stubblefield says.

Stubblefield took on this role after he was told Toys for Tots would not return to Clinton County this year.

“We used to have Toys for Tots here in Clinton and the coordinator kind of bowed out at the last minute,” says Stubblefield.

So, he took the reins.

“We have people everyday that say ‘hey, this is a great thing you are doing, I’m glad somebody stepped up’,” comments Stubblefield.

But not without some extra hands.

“And the Clinton community, you know they are coming out. I didn’t put all of these in here myself, they are doing good,” Stubblefield expresses.

Making Clinton a winter wonderland once again.

Toy donations are for kids ages 1-14.  They are also collecting coats, hats, gloves, and boots.

Donations are being taken until December 10th at any of the Clinton County locations below:

Walmart

Every Wednesday 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Every Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Billion Auto

Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Hometown Cash Advance

Monday – Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Mediacom

Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

RSVP

Monday – Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Friday 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Mike Gazo Country Financial

Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

Man breaks into Indianapolis home, crawls into bed with two girls

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An Indianapolis family is pleading for help to find the man they say broke into their home and ended up in bed with two little girls.

Veronica Mildenberg says her 6-year-old and 10-year-old daughters were sleeping in the top bunk of her bed when the stranger climbed up with them.

The 10-year-old woke up and screamed.

“He must have climbed up the stairwell and got in bed with her," Mildenberg said. "That’s when she hollered for her grandma. He woke her up because he touched her leg.”

The surveillance video below shows the suspect peeking into the windows of the home on New York Street around 1:45 a.m. Minutes later, family members say he went to the back of the home and climbed through a kitchen window with a broken lock.

“I remember my daughter waking up saying, ‘mommy, someone touched me, a man touched me,’ screaming and crying,” Mildenberg said.

Robin Marcun, the little girl’s grandmother, says she ran to the bedroom when she heard her granddaughter scream.

“I happen to look in, I thought I was freaking out, I seen a grown person,” Marcun said. “When I got to the door handle, he jumped out at me.”

“I said ‘who are you and why are you in my house?’ He said, ‘it’s storming, I live two doors down and you let me in and said I could stay all night,” Marcun said. “I said, ‘you really need to get out of my house, I don’t know who you are, I’ve never seen you.’”

The family says the incident has left them frightened and on edge and they’re now taking extra precautions to protect their family – including putting alarms on all of their doors and windows.

“Ever since then, it’s like if I hear a noise I’m completely awake,” Marcun said. “Is he going to be out there watching me? Is he coming back or what? It’s a scary situation.”

Questions raised about decision to transfer ‘Whitey’ Bulger to prison where he died

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(CNN) — Union leaders and a former federal corrections official are questioning the timing of James “Whitey” Bulger’s transfer last month from a Florida prison to the US Penitentiary Hazelton, where he was returned to the general inmate population.

Bulger was brutally beaten to death in the West Virginia prison, according to a federal law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. Investigators believe Bulger was attacked by more than one person. At least one inmate involved in the beating has ties to organized crime in Massachusetts, the official said.

Joe Rojas, president of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 506 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Florida — where Bulger was previously housed — said prison officials “dropped the ball” by transferring him to the notoriously violent Hazelton facility and mixing him with the general population.

“It’s like sending somebody to death row,” Rojas, who was not involved in the decision to transfer Bulger, told CNN.

At the end of his violent life, feared former mob boss Bulger was an 89-year-old lifer confined to a wheelchair and suffering from a heart condition and other ailments, according to US Bureau of Prisons records and interviews with union officials.

Records indicate adjustment in care requirements before transfer

BOP records obtained by CNN state that Bulger suffered from high blood pressure, aortic stenosis and prostate and bladder problems.

A previous request made by officials at Coleman to transfer Bulger was denied in April. Records show the request was coded to indicate Bulger required a higher level of medical care, or Care Level 4, for inmates who are severely impaired and may require daily nursing care.

It’s not clear why the April transfer request was denied. In October, however, a transfer request was approved and coded to indicate he no longer needed to be in a medical facility.

The records show Bulger’s “medical/physical treatment” was completed and that he was to be transferred to the general population at Hazelton under Care Level 2, a lower medical classification for inmates who are stable outpatients that require at least quarterly clinician evaluation.

Rojas said if Bulger was dropped to Care Level 2, that would be strange.

“I don’t care who you are, you can’t justify dropping him … to a 2. … He’s always going to be (at least) a Care Level 3 because of his age and he’s in a wheelchair” with heart problems, Rojas said.

“The only way you drop him to a Care Level 2 is to get rid of him,” Rojas said. “Their intent was to get rid of him, probably because he was a crusty old man and a pain in the ass.”

Rojas said he does not believe it was anyone’s intent at BOP to get Bulger killed, but the transfer had the effect of “sending him to die at Hazelton.”

“There’s no conspiracy to try to get him killed,” Rojas said. “Nobody wants to get another inmate killed.”

Rojas said Coleman had appeared to be a good fit for Bulger in two ways: First, Coleman is well prepared to care for inmates with medical needs. Second, the Coleman facility is what’s known as a “closed yard,” considered a safer type of prison, and houses higher-profile prisoners such as Bulger, informants and former gang members.

Apart from its reputation for violence, he said, Hazelton houses current gang members and mafia figures.

“We all know that you can’t put somebody like (Bulger) — high profile — there,” Rojas said. “It’s like throwing meat to a bunch of sharks.”

Former warden also questions move

Cameron Lindsay, a former warden at five Bureau of Prisons facilities who said he had no direct knowledge of the case, also questioned the timing of Bulger’s transfer.

“The BOP intentionally designated and transferred Bulger with the belief in mind that he could walk the line at Hazelton, meaning he could be placed in the general population there,” he told CNN.

“This is astounding given the fact that Bulger is a super high publicity case, as he’s one of America’s most infamous criminals.”

The Federal Bureau of Prisons said it doesn’t disclose the reasons for specific inmate transfers.

“Per BOP policy, the designation process includes a review (that includes) whether there exists any known safety threat from other inmates,” the prisons bureau statement said.

“There were no known threats to Mr. Bulger from other inmates upon designation to the Hazelton facility.”

The bureau website lists factors considered when designating inmates to correctional institutions, including security, population, and medical needs.

“It was really odd that he was general population (at Hazelton) given his notoriety and who he was. I was pretty surprised,” said Richard Heldreth, President of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 420, which represents staff at Hazelton.

Lindsay said, “I don’t think that any nefarious plot was afoot. That would be terribly inconsistent with what I know about the Bureau of Prisons. I think it’s more — I’m going to guess it’s an issue of complacency. Somebody was asleep at the switch.”

Two other prisoners were stabbed to death in fights with fellow inmates this year at US Penitentiary Hazelton — one in April, and one on September 17, according to a letter sent by members of Congress to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The deaths prompted members of Congress to write to Sessions in October — days before Bulger even arrived at Hazelton — raising concerns about conditions at the facility and whether federal prisons like it were properly or adequately staffed.

With Bulger’s death, three Hazelton inmates have now been killed there in seven months. Few details have been released and prison officials have not disclosed whether they believe factors such as increased staffing would have made a difference.

Records show Bulger got in trouble at Coleman this year

The Bureau of Prisons records obtained by CNN show the former South Boston mobster was less than a stellar prisoner.

In March — one month before the first attempted transfer — Bulger was found guilty of “conduct which disrupts — most like threatening staff,” according to the records.

Rojas said Bulger was sentenced to 30 days in a special housing unit in March after threatening a nurse in February with the warning, “Your day of reckoning is coming.”

Bulger also had been found guilty in 2015 of masturbating in front of male staff, the records show.

Bulger was housed at Coleman since 2014 and accumulated just the two infractions, Rojas said.

At Coleman, Bulger had “butlers,” or younger prisoners who would bring him lunch and do other tasks for him, according to Rojas. Bulger would compensate these men by giving them commissary stamps, and by other means.

The ex-mobster was generally “harmless at Coleman,” Rojas said.

Rojas said transfers to tougher prisons generally follow repeated infractions for offenses such as stabbings or fighting.

Bulger laid to rest on Thursday

A private funeral Mass was held for Bulger on Thursday at St. Monica-St. Augustine Church in South Boston, according to a statement from the Catholic archdiocese. His burial was also private.

“Out of respect for the family and those who were hurt, it was a private service just for the immediate family,” Father James A. Flavin, the pastor, said in the statement.

“The Church is a spiritual home for any person or family seeking God’s Wisdom and peace in a time of crisis and grief. The Church is certainly aware of the deep pain that innocent victims of crime and violence live with every day.”

Flavin, in his homily, said: “We pray that everyone is able to feel the peaceful presence of God and His son Jesus in the midst of chaos and pain.”

Bulger, who eluded federal authorities for more than 16 years before his arrest in June 2011, was serving the rest of his life in prison for a litany of crimes that included his role in 11 murders.

He was sentenced in November 2013 to two life terms plus five years as architect of a criminal enterprise that, in the words of a federal judge, committed “unfathomable” acts that terrorized a city.

The US Penitentiary Hazelton is a high-security facility housing 1,270 male offenders at Federal Correctional Complex Hazelton.

One of the two suspects in the brutal beating was identified as Fotios “Freddy” Geas, a Mafia hit man from Massachusetts, The New York Times has reported, citing unnamed sources. It said Geas was moved to solitary confinement after the killing.

Geas, 51, is serving a life sentence at the same prison for the 2003 murder of a crime boss and another man he believed was an FBI informant.

Driver gets out of car, punches other driver in the head in road rage incident

MOLINE, Illinois — A driver was punched in the head by another driver during a road rage incident on Interstate 74.

The driver was headed into Iowa when another car was tailgating her back on Monday, October 29, according to a statement from CrimeStoppers.  Eventually, the tailgating car pulled in front of the other driver “and traffic slowed to a stop on the bridge.”

“The suspect exited his car, walked to the victim’s car and without warning, punched her in the head,” said CrimeStoppers.  The suspect then got back in his car and drove into Iowa.

The suspect driver is described as a black male, wearing a black sweatshirt and red pants.

CrimeStoppers shared a photo of the suspect, the car he was driving and the license plate: “V43 5366”.  The photo was taken by the victim.

If you know the person in the photo, or if you have any information you are asked to call CrimeStoppers at 309-762-9500.

Photo from CrimeStoppers

Thousands of dogs will soon be without homes in Florida after racing ban

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Amendment 13 needed just 60% of Tuesday’s votes to pass in Florida, but more than 5.3 million voters, or 69%, cast their ballots in favor of it—meaning by the end of 2020, legal dog racing in the Sunshine State will be no more, NBC News reports.

It’s a “knockout blow to a cruel industry that has been hurting and killing dogs for nearly a century,” says the Committee to Protect Dogs, one of the lobbyists for the statewide ban, per the Orlando Sentinel.

State records note that more than 460 dogs have died at Florida tracks just since 2013, the first year such data started being gathered, the Miami Herald notes. The news is sure to make national waves as well, considering Florida hosts 11 of the country’s remaining 17 active dog tracks. The industry will essentially be “swept away in the night,” says the director of greyhound advocacy group GREY2K USA.

The issue now: what to do with the 5,000 to 7,000 greyhounds that will soon be forced into early retirement.

A rep for the National Greyhound Association says “98%” of dogs who leave racing are adopted, and most of the rest head to farms to breed. But the head of a greyhound adoption group says not only will homes need to be found for the still-racing dogs, but also for the young dogs on breeding farms that haven’t found their way to the track yet.

“Some of these dogs might end up at shelters, and they’re not all no-kill,” she tells NBC. “That’s the scary part.” Other states where dog racing remains legal include Iowa, Arkansas, Alabama, West Virginia, and Texas.

(At least a dozen greyhounds tested positive for cocainein Florida last year.)

More From Newser:

New Iowa election audit matches totals at local precinct

DAVENPORT- There's a new way to verify election results in Iowa.  Scott County is joining a statewide post-election audit.

This is old-school auditing with an up-to-date purpose.  Iowa wants to verify that every vote counts, and every vote is counted correctly.

"This is just a great way to show in a transparency manner that the voting equipment works," said Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz, on Thursday, November 8.  "They can have faith in the system, and they can trust that their vote really does matter."

The bipartisan panel is looking at a precinct from Pleasant Valley and comparing votes in the governor's race.

"We're checking the machine, really, against the paper ballot," said Mark Sokolik. "The three of us will examine each ballot."

In Iowa, a record 61% of registered voters participated in the election.  In Scott County, voting topped 54%.

While Democrat Fred Hubbell carried Scott County, Governor Kim Reynolds dominated this precinct.

"That total should come out the same," Sokolik continued.

After about an hour, all 375 votes matched the original tally.  The audit is a success.

"We want to make sure that the electorate feels comfortable in knowing that they can have integrity in the voting system," Moritz concluded.

The audit is part of Iowa's Election Integrity Act.  It should wrap up statewide next week.

 

 

Knox County drug bust nets 42 pounds of marijuana

GALESBURG, Illinois- The Knox County Sheriff’s office says they seized 42 pounds of marijuana Wednesday, November 7.

According to their facebook post, police saw Steven Broberg exit an Amtrak Train. After a short time, Broberg met with Donnie Smith and James Perkins who arrived at the Amtrak Train Station with a U-Haul pulling a car on a trailer.

Police say Broberg placed two large suitcases in the trunk of the car and all three left in the U-Haul.

Police stopped the vehicle at the 2000 block of East Main St, Galesburg Il.

“Knox County K9, GLOCK conducted a free air sniff of the U-Haul and the car on the trailer. K9 GLOCK alerted to the car.”

At this point the deputies found the 42 pounds in the two suitcases in the trunk of the car. Police are saying the approximate street value of the seized “high grade” cannabis is $168,000.00

All three men were arrested for cannabis trafficking over 5,000 grams and possession of cannabis with intent to deliver over 5,000 grams.

 

2 burned after religious ceremony in Bettendorf

BETTENDORF, Iowa- Two people were rushed to the hospital after being badly burned during a religious ceremony on November 7, 2018.

The Bettendorf Fire Department says the clothes of one burn victim caught on fire during the ceremony when they came too close to a lit candle.  The other person in the room during the ceremony tried to put out the fire and was also burned as a result.

One of the burn victims was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, the other was transported by helicopter.

Both went to a burn treatment center.

Snow will be falling beginning later tonight

Gray skies remain as temperatures did not get out of the 30s this afternoon.

These same clouds will thicken and lower tonight as our light snowfall event approaches from the west.  Light snow will begin to fall later tonight and continue into Friday morning.  Estimates I addressed yesterday on the newscast are still looking pretty good.

Around an inch is still expected near the Quad Cities and points south and west, with a couple of spots possibly approaching two.  Lighter amounts farther north.  Roads especially in rural areas may be a bit slick if the snow piles up faster than it melts.

Another round of snow is possible later Friday but this will add very little if any accumulation.

Pretty cold temperatures heading into the start of the weekend with highs on Saturday only around the lower 30s.  Only bright spot is we witness some well deserve sunshine.  High clouds will roll through on Sunday but it will be a bit more tolerable with highs just over 40 degrees.

Chief meteorologist James Zahara

Download the News 8 Weather App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Download the free News 8 App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

How and where to donate to Mr. Thanksgiving’s community dinner

MOLINE, Illinois -- Mr. Thanksgiving, or Bob Vogelbaugh, is searching for additional donations for this year's 48th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

Mr. Thanksgiving hosts the community dinner in Southpark Mall in Moline, and it's all made possible thanks to donations made from the community.

By this time last year, Mr. Thanksgiving had nearly $4,000. So far this year, he has only raised $300.

"People don't realize what everything costs anymore, but it takes around 25 to 26,000 dollars to put this all together," Vogelbaugh said.

Donations can be made out to Mr. Thanksgiving himself and dropped off at:

3704 26th Street Moline, IL 61286

Pie donations can be dropped off at the Southpark Mall office on Wednesday, November 21st or Thursday, November 22nd in the vacant space near Von Maur.

This year's Thanksgiving Dinner will be November 22nd from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m..

 

Gunman who killed 12 at California bar identified as Ian David Long

(CNN) — A US Marines veteran opened fire at a Southern California bar late Wednesday, killing at least 12 before killing himself, and sending panicked survivors scrambling through doors and windows to escape, authorities said.

Investigators believe Ian David Long, 28, used a legally purchased Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun with an extended magazine to shoot patrons, staff and a sheriff’s deputy at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, and they’re trying to figure out why he did it, Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said Thursday morning.

“We have no idea what the motive was at this point,” Dean said.

“It’s a horrific scene in there,” he said earlier. “There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.”

Live updates on mass shooting

Among those killed was Ventura County sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, who rushed in minutes after the first gunshots were reported at 11:20 p.m., Dean said.

Helus had been at the department for nearly three decades and planned to retire within the next year, the sheriff said, choking back tears.

“Ron … gave his all and tonight, he died a hero because he went in to save lives,” Dean said.

The shooting broke out during the Western-style bar’s weekly line dancing and college night open to people 18 and older. People dropped to the floor and hid behind bar stools in stunned silence, witnesses said. Others jumped over chairs and broke windows to get out.

Taylor Von Molt, 21, said she was line dancing when she “heard what I thought was a balloon pop.”

“I heard it a couple more times, and I turned around and I saw him (the gunman),” she said. “He had … what looked like a bandanna on the bottom on his face, sunglasses, black hoodie, dark jeans.”

About 21 others were sent to hospitals with injuries and released, the sheriff’s office said. Many of the injured were not shot but were hurt trying to escape, Dean said.

Authorities have yet to release the names of most of those who were killed or injured, and anxious friends and relatives gathered at a designated spot in the city to await word on what happened to their loved ones.

What we know about the shooting

‘I started hearing these big pops’

The gunman apparently arrived at the bar Wednesday night in a car, and shot an unarmed security guard who was standing outside, Dean said. Long then stepped inside, and apparently shot other security workers and employees and opened fire further inside the club, the sheriff said.

Six off-duty law enforcement officers were in the bar when the shooting happened, Dean said. It wasn’t immediately clear what happened to them.

A woman whose daughter was at the bar has said one of those officers “stood in front of her daughter, protecting her life with his own,” Ventura County sheriff’s Senior Deputy Julie Novak told CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS.

Witnesses described a man clothed in black and wearing glasses as he walked onto the dance floor filled with people and began shooting.

Von Molt, who’d been dancing, ran toward the nearest exit but tripped, and people kept running on top of her in a rush to escape. Eventually she got up and ran out — and got checked at a hospital for bruises.

Von Molt said some of her friends got out, but she didn’t immediately know where others were.

John Hedge, who was at the bar with his stepfather, told CNN affiliate KABC that he hit the ground after hearing three or four popping sounds.

“I started hearing these big pops. Pop, pop, pop, he said. “I look up — the security guard is dead. Well, I don’t want to say he was dead, but he was shot.”

People “dog-piled on top of each other” trying to hide in silence, California Lutheran University student Teylor Whittler told KABC. Some men ran toward them and said the gunman was coming. As they escaped through the bar’s back door, she heard a second round of shots.

There was no screaming, she said — just gunfire and stampeding crowds.

Nick Steinwender, who is part of California Lutheran’s student government, said his friends were inside the bar when the shooting started.

“It was chaos, people jumping out of windows, hopping over gates and just trying to get out,” he told the affiliate. “From what I heard, the gunman started shooting at the front desk. … Students were hiding in the attics, bathrooms and stuff like that.”

The bar is near several universities, including California Lutheran, which canceled Thursday’s classes in response to the shooting.

Nearby Pepperdine University said it believes “multiple Pepperdine students” also were there. A prayer service for the campus community was scheduled at a theater there at noon Thursday.

Long had previous contacts with the law, sheriff says

Deputies were at Long’s home in the Newbury Park area of Thousand Oaks on Thursday morning, seeking to serve a search warrant, Dean said. Thousand Oaks is in Ventura County, about 40 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

Long was in the US Marine Corps from August 2008 to March 2013, Defense Department records show.

He subsequently was a student at California State University, Northridge, from 2013 to 2016, the school said. Long pursued a major in athletic training but did not graduate, the university’s Carmen Ramos Chandler said

Law enforcement had several previous contacts with Long, including in April when officers were called to a disturbance at his home, the sheriff said.

“He was somewhat irate, acting a little irrationally,” Dean said. Mental health specialists talked to him and didn’t feel he qualified to be detained under the state’s “5150” mental health detention law, Dean said.

One of Long’s neighbors, Tom Hansen, told KABC that he had called police in April.

“I don’t know exactly what he was doing — it was like he was banging on the walls and shouting,” Hansen said. “It concerned me, so I called the police.”

Hansen told KABC everything seemed to go back to normal afterward and he never learned what had happened.

Long also had been a victim of battery at a different Thousand Oaks bar in January 2015, the sheriff said.

Long posted about his service with the Marines on an online forum called ShadowSpear in March 2017. He wrote he had been an infantry machine gunner, had served in Afghanistan and was an instructor in Okinawa, Japan.

Deputy killed after rushing inside

Helus, the slain sheriff’s deputy, arrived at the bar 3 minutes after 911 calls came in, along with two California Highway Patrol officers, Dean said.

Helus went in because gunshots still were being fired — and he was shot multiple times, Dean said.

A Highway Patrol officer pulled Helus out and waited for reinforcements. When more officers arrived, they found the gunman dead inside, Dean said.

Helus succumbed to his wounds at a hospital, police said. He is survived by a wife and a son.

“I don’t think there’s anything more heroic than what he did,” a colleague, sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Buschow, told CNN Thursday morning.

Helus was on the phone with his wife shortly before he responded to the shooting, Dean said.

“(He said), ‘Hey, I have to handle a call. I love you, I’ll talk to you later,’ ” the sheriff said.

Father crushed to learn his son was killed

One of those who died was Cody Coffman, 22, his father said.

Cody was at the bar with friends — and when his friends escaped, they woke his father up around 1 a.m. to tell him they didn’t know if his son had gotten out.

For hours Thursday morning, Jason Coffman gave interviews to reporters, telling them he feared the worst about his firstborn son.

Then, just before 10 a.m., the father revealed he had learned that Cody had died.

In between sobs, Jason Coffman recounted his last conversation with Cody.

“I talked to him last night before he headed out the door. First thing I said was, ‘Don’t drink and drive.’ “

“Last thing I said was, ‘Son, I love you.’ “

Jason Coffman said Cody, who leaves his parents and three brothers under the age of 10, had been talking to recruiters about joining the Army.

“This is absolutely going to crush those … boys,” the father said. “This is not going to be easy for a very long time.”

Driver runs from police after hitting squad car during attempted traffic stop

DAVENPORT, Iowa — A driver ran from police after hitting a squad car as officers tried to pull him over, according to a statement from the Davenport Police Department.

Officers were patrolling around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 7 when they tried to pull over a vehicle in the 1900 block of West 2nd Street, police said.

“Officers initiated a traffic stop at which time the suspect vehicle struck a squad and fled the scene,” read the statement.

Police said they chased the suspect vehicle for nearly a mile and a half, until the vehicle hit a stop sign in the 1700 block of Division Street.

The juvenile occupants in the vehicle got out and ran off, police said.  They were apprehended.

The driver was charged with assault with a weapon, eluding, interference and traffic charges and was turned over to the juvenile detention center.

11-year-old faces charges for allegedly putting needles in Halloween candy

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — An 11-year-old faces felony charges for allegedly putting sewing needles in Halloween candy, according to a news release from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

On Halloween, deputies came to a home after a 12-year-old child suffered minor injuries while eating a Snickers bar with a sewing needle in it. The victim had been celebrating Halloween and was trick-or-treating in the Grace Ridge subdivision.

A search of the child’s candy revealed a second needle in a Snickers bar.

On Nov. 1, a second family reported finding a sewing needle inside a Snickers bar. They had been trick-or-treating in the Grace Ridge subdivision as well.

Following an investigation, an 11-year-old was identified as the suspect. The child visits relatives in the Grace Ridge area, the sheriff’s office said.

Felony charges were brought against the child through juvenile court. The child is charged with distribution of certain food at Halloween containing foreign objects.

The needles were inserted into the candy through the wrappers and would be very difficult to detect, the sheriff’s office said.

The child has been sent for a mental evaluation before court proceedings begin.

Walmart releases its Black Friday ad for holiday shoppers

The holidays are just around the corner. While some are preparing for a Thanksgiving feast, many retailers are hoping to catch the eye of shoppers with show-stopping deals on hot-ticket items.

Walmart released its Black Friday advertisement, featuring deals on televisions, laptops, surveillance cameras, cookware and clothing.

The company says the deals will be available in-store starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22. If you want to skip the hassle of the store, the sales will also be available online starting Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 9 p.m.

Last week, Target released its Black Friday advertisement. In addition to the deals, company officials say that shoppers will also be able to take advantage of ‘skip the line’ service.

She drank kratom tea while pregnant. Then her newborn went into withdrawal

The woman had used oxycodone for almost a decade but told her doctors she had been sober for two years. She never touched narcotics during her pregnancy, she said, and had completed rehab.

But her newborn son was in withdrawal: jittery, screaming and requiring an infusion of morphine to stay alive. The infant craved drugs, but why?

Amid an opioid epidemic, the boy’s doctors didn’t blame heroin, fentanyl or other illicit substances. Instead, they said, the infant had grown dependent on a controversial herbal supplement: kratom.

‘A false sense of safety’

According to a case report published Wednesday in the journal Pediatrics, both the unnamed woman and her infant passed urine drug screens that looked specifically for oxycodone and other opioids. But those tests didn’t look for kratom, a legal drug that has opioid-like effects at high doses.

The plant, which is native to Southeast Asia, is typically used to treat pain and curb opioid cravings. Acting on the same brain receptors as morphine and similar drugs, it is hailed by some as a solution to the opioid epidemic but derided by the US Food and Drug Administration as a potentially dangerous psychoactive drug.

The mother denied using any substances during her pregnancy — legal or otherwise — but her husband told doctors that she drank kratom tea daily to treat her withdrawal symptoms and help with sleep.

“I fear that women making genuine commitments to overcome their dependency may develop a false sense of safety by using a substance that is advertised as a non-opioid alternative,” said Dr. Whitney Eldridge, a neonatologist for BayCare Health System in Florida who was lead author on the case report.

The mother might have been well-intentioned, but because tests showed no other drugs in her or the infant, her doctors said kratom probably caused her son’s condition, known clinically as neonatal abstinence syndrome. On his eighth day of life, after he had been weaned off opioids and observed without any medications, the boy was discharged to his parents.

It’s rare, but FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in a statement that “this case is not unique.” He said the FDA “is aware of four other cases involving neonates exposed to kratom while in utero who experienced neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome after term delivery.”

Gottlieb, whose agency has issued a variety of warnings on kratom, called the new report “a tragic case of harm” and said it “further illustrates the concerns the FDA has identified about kratom, including the potential for abuse and addiction.”

And though Eldridge hopes more research will help lawmakers better regulate kratom, she believes that physicians today “need to counsel women who are pregnant about the risk of kratom such as they would any other legal substance that can have ill effects on their newborn.”

Experts urge caution, cast doubt

Some experts are hesitant to draw any conclusions from the report. They note that although maternal kratom use could theoretically cause neonatal abstinence syndrome, the case did not explicitly link kratom to the infant’s withdrawal symptoms.

“I’m not surprised that this is possible,” said Dr. Andrew Kruegel, an associate research scientist at Columbia University, “because kratom certainly has opioid effects and can induce tolerance in users, especially at higher doses.”

But Kruegel, who has studied the plant for seven years, noted that doctors weren’t able to test the purported kratom itself. “The main limitation is that we don’t know anything about the dosage that the mother was taking,” he said. “Without that information, you can’t really extrapolate too much.”

And the mother might not have been taking kratom at all, said Dr. Edward W. Boyer, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and a physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“It’s the husband who reported the kratom use,” he said. “The wife who actually ingested the product, who thought it was kratom, and the authors of the case report itself, none of those people actually verified that she was ingesting kratom.”

Kratom’s rocky past and uncertain future

Despite the FDA’s warnings, kratom is easy to buy and is sometimes sold as a tea in cafés. The nonprofit American Kratom Association estimates that 3 million to 5 million Americans use the substance, and the group says it’s open to warning labels on kratom products.

“We believe that, as in many supplements, there should be a warning that pregnant women shouldn’t take this,” Dave Herman, the association’s chairman, said. “That’s not because we think it’s detrimental. It’s because it’s a safety measure.”

Kratom acts on opioid receptors, which the FDA says is evidence of its potential for abuse. The agency points to 44 deaths associated with kratom, but Kruegel said that “if you look at those 44 deaths, the vast majority of them involve other substances, including other strong opioids.”

Boyer said kratom may have other risks, such as seizures, but he noted that it might be safer than most opioids because “there does not seem to be respiratory depression when kratom is used alone.”

Respiratory depression — slow and ineffective breathing — is what makes opioid overdoses so deadly. That’s why Boyer believes well-regulated kratom could one day be used in the fight against opioid addiction, steering users away from more dangerous drugs.

“If you do the right thing and do the rigorous studies, then there is no reason why [kratom] shouldn’t be a prescription pharmaceutical that serves as a bridge to formal drug treatment, particularly for individuals who can’t get into therapy,” Boyer said.

Challenges to developing kratom-based drugs

The American Kratom Association says there’s little incentive for pharmaceutical companies to study kratom as a potential prescription drug, especially because they can’t patent the raw plant.

“If I’m a drug company, I think that it costs somewhere, depending on who you speak to, between $1.2 and $1.8 billion to bring a new drug to market,” Herman said. “Who would spend that kind of money when some other guy can just get on a boat, ride down a river and grab it off a tree?”

Because kratom is considered a dietary supplement, manufacturers don’t need FDA approval to sell it as long as their products don’t claim to cure or treat specific conditions or symptoms.

But some companies have done just that, drawing the FDA’s ire for saying their products could “relieve opioid withdrawal” or “treat a myriad of ailments.” The association says those cases are anomalies.

“The reality is, our belief is, this is America,” Herman said. “And if a product is useful for your health and well-being, you should have the right to take it, as long as it doesn’t harm you. And we haven’t seen any evidence of that harm.”

The FDA, however, continues to warn against kratom, even suggesting that it could worsen the opioid epidemic.

“Kratom has never been studied in humans,” Gottlieb said in the statement. “What consumers and health care providers need to understand is that there are no proven medical uses for kratom. Instead, as the FDA has warned, kratom can cause serious harm and is contributing to the opioid crisis.”

Powerful water pump removed from duck boat that sank

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Records show a water pump had been replaced with a less powerful system in a tourist duck boat that sank in a Missouri lake, killing 17 people.

The Kansas City Star reports that the original Higgins pump, which is capable of removing as much as 250 gallons of water per minute from the bottom of a boat, was replaced with two less powerful electric pumps in the boat that sank in July at Table Rock Lake in the Branson area.

The capacity of those two pumps wasn’t clear. But Coast Guard duck boat inspection records show that other Higgins pumps have been replaced in recent years in other ducks boats, with the new pumps capable of extracting a combined 20 gallons of water or less per minute. That’s not even one-tenth the pumping capacity of a Higgins, which was one of two pumping systems aboard the original World War II era duck boats.

One pumping system was for normal operations as the boats transported troops and equipment from ship to shore, while the Higgins was to keep the boats afloat in difficult conditions such as wind speeds of more than 15 mph or wave height of more than 3 feet. After the war, as the boats were converted for tourism, the Higgins pump was sometimes removed from duck boats so the vessels could be lengthened, or “stretched,” to accommodate more passengers.

Issues arose when the sunken boat, dubbed Stretch Duck 07, faced near hurricane force winds. Investigators haven’t determined whether the less powerful pumps played a role, although a malfunctioning pump was blamed for contributing to the 1999 sinking of the Miss Majestic duck boat in Lake Hamilton in Arkansas in which 13 died.

Stretch Duck 07’s owner, Ripley Entertainment, said through spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala-Potts that the company can’t comment on the pump because “the investigation and related litigation are ongoing.”

Removing the Higgins pump is permitted, as long as there are two smaller pumps on the vessels. But the removal has raised questions among experts and attorneys because of the potential of duck boats to sink rapidly. A lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley alleges that the company “did not conform to” federal safety recommendations by failing to replace the Higgins with a pump of equal or greater capacity.

Mary Schiavo, former inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation, said it makes no sense to remove the powerful bilge pump, but said duck boats are a “loophole craft” that doesn’t fit neatly into any category because they are “so old and have been modified so much.”

“The thing that struck me,” Schiavo said of a video of the boat struggling in the water before it went down, “was it just kept getting lower and lower in the water as the water was coming over the sides. So I wondered if the bilge system was working, because if you’re getting water over the sides of the boat and the bilges are working, you ought to be able to keep up. But it clearly wasn’t.”

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