National News | River Country 101-7
  • WISN(NEW YORK) -- A Wisconsin woman was pumping gas this week when a thief jumped into the driver's seat of her car and she leapt onto the hood of the car to stop him, in a shocking moment caught on video.Melissa Smith, 28, of Milwaukee, said at least four other cars were at the gas station alongside her as she pumped gas Tuesday afternoon.When she got out of her car to remove the gas pump, she said she left the keys in the ignition.She then "turned around and realized someone was in my car.""I had a 'this is not happening today' moment," she recalled to ABC News, and "ran around my car and then decided to hop on."Smith said she grabbed the windshield wiper and screamed at the thief.But the carjacker started and stopped the car, apparently trying to throw her off the hood, she said.Timothy Gauerke, a public information officer with the Milwaukee Police Department, said the suspect drove the victim's car while the victim was on the hood. The suspect eventually stopped the car and fled after stealing the victim's purse, Gauerke said. The video shows the suspect jumping into the backseat of another car. Gauerke said multiple suspects were involved in the attempt to steal the victim's car and that police are still looking for them.Smith said, "I'm glad he didn't go and move into the street with me on the car, but when he finally got out of my car, he left it in drive and let it roll into traffic, where I had to hop into my moving vehicle to stop it."Smith said she suffered bruises but no serious injuries.Looking back, she said, "I definitely should not have jumped on my car and risked my life, but that was not what I was thinking at that moment."She said she's learned to "be more aware of your surroundings no matter where you are.""And take your keys with you and lock your car doors when you get gas!" she said. "I will never not do that."
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  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The alleged body slam of a Guardian reporter by a GOP candidate for Congress in Montana created a national firestorm and prompted a misdemeanor assault charge as well as condemnations from press advocacy groups.But if Greg Gianforte prevails in the Big Sky State's special election Thursday night, would he face any consequences as a member of Congress?The short answer is probably not, since Gianforte’s troubles occurred before he would be sworn in as a U.S. representative. The House Ethics Committee has jurisdiction over current members of the House, but not necessarily congressional candidates.Rob Walker, a former staff director at both the House and Senate ethics committees, says he believes Congress would likely find that since Gianforte’s alleged offense was widely publicized and occurred before the election, the committee would not pursue an investigation.“If elected, I don’t think [Gianforte] would be subject to investigation or discipline based on this conduct,” Walker told ABC News. “If he wins in spite of this, the voters have spoken.”While Walker acknowledges there is no specific rule to prohibit the ethics committee from opening a probe, the rules do allow for some flexibility to examine a congressional candidate’s behavior that was initially unknown but later revealed.That sort of investigation into a member’s actions preceding his or her tenure in Congress are generally to safeguard against revelations of inappropriate actions in the course of seeking office -- such as campaign fraud. Even if Gianforte is convicted of misdemeanor assault, such an offense probably would not prompt an investigation, according to Walker.“There is nothing specific that says they couldn’t reach back,” Walker, who currently works as counsel at Wiley Rein LLP, said. “What’s the new news if he’s convicted? The conduct occurred beforehand. The consequence [of a conviction] shouldn’t give the committee additional grounds for taking up this matter.”House rules state that the ethics committee may examine whether a member of Congress violated "any law, rule, regulation, or other standard of conduct applicable to the conduct of such Member” in the performance or the discharge of his or her responsibilities.While an investigation is unlikely, if the ethics committee ultimately determines Gianforte violated House rules, he could face a range of disciplinary actions from the House, including a letter of reproval, a formal letter of reprimand, censure or even expulsion. He could also face a fine.Gianforte is hoping to replace former Rep. Ryan Zinke, who resigned from Congress to accept an appointment as Secretary of the Interior. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Arkansas State Parks(NEW YORK) -- One man found the perfect last minute Mother's Day gift for his wife when he spotted a small rock that turned out to be a diamond."When I told her I was going to find her a diamond for Mother's Day I didn't know I would actually find one," Wendell Fox told ABC News about his find at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, on May 13. "I sort of pre-committed so I had to follow through," he said.Fox, 70, and his wife Jennifer, 68, live in Joliet, Montana, most of the year, but as Arkansas natives, the pair knew the storied history behind the state park. "The diamond mine is part of Arkansas history and it's the only one in the U.S." he explained, unaware that the park had been a hot bed for other diamond-seekers in recent months.  Fox said he and his wife were walking around the grounds for about an hour and a half "looking for a glimmer" when he noticed the gem."I was surface looking, walking very slowly and looking very slowly and I saw it," Fox said. "I got down for a closer inspection because I wasn't quite sure what to look for, but as soon as I saw it I thought, 'that's probably a diamond.'"Fox showed the peanut-sized stone to his wife who told him to take it to the Diamond Discovery Center. When Fox pulled it from his pocket to show the employees, "one of the ladies sort of gasped and I just saw this big smile," he said.The staff confirmed that Fox discovered a 2.78-carat champagne colored diamond, the second-largest one registered at the park this year.  Earlier in May Victoria Brodski of Tulsa, Oklahoma, found a 2.65-carat brown gem that she dubbed the Michelangelo Diamond. On March 11, Centerton, Arkansas, resident Kalel Langford found a 7.44-carat brown gem that he named Superman's Diamond.Fox named his gem "Way Out Yonder" as a tribute to their home in Montana. The gemstone will be made into a pendant for his wife, Jennifer."We still can't believe that we found it. It was just by the grace of God and love," Fox said.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has issued its annual Atlantic hurricane season outlook. The season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.This year, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) forecasts an above-normal hurricane season with a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. “The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or nonexistent El Nino, near- or above-average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.Strong El Ninos and wind shear typically suppress the development of Atlantic hurricanes, so the prediction for weak conditions points to more hurricane activity this year. Also, warmer sea surface temperatures tend to fuel hurricanes as they move across the ocean. However, the climate models are showing considerable uncertainty, which is reflected in the comparable probabilities for an above-normal and near-normal season.Even though Atlantic hurricane season does not start until June 1, there's already been one tropical storm, Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April. This storm is already included in the 2017 season forecast.But having tropical activity before the official start of the hurricane season does not necessarily mean it will be a busy hurricane season. Also, having a busy hurricane season does not mean there will be a lot of land-falling hurricanes or tropical storms in the United States.For example, in 1992, the first named storm did not form until August, and it was Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida. In another example, the 2010 hurricane season was above average with 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin. Despite the busy season, not a single hurricane and only one tropical storm made landfall in the United States.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Reporter Ben Jacobs of The Guardian said he's still in shock after Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in Montana's special House election, allegedly body-slammed him on the eve of the nationally-watched election."It's still been a surprising, shocking set of events," Jacobs told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Thursday. "But I'm recovering."Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault following the purported incident, according to the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office website."Following multiple interviews and an investigation by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office it was determined there was probable cause to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault," the sheriff's office said in a statement Wednesday night.The statement added that the "nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault."
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  • William Campbell/Getty Images(MISSOULA, Mont.) -- The Republican candidate for the Montana at-large U.S. House of Representatives special election, Greg Gianforte, has been cited for misdemeanor assault after he allegedly assaulted a reporter Wednesday -- less than 24 hours before polls are to open in the state -- law enforcement officials said late Wednesday night.Sheriff Brian Gootkin announced the charge on the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office website."Following multiple interviews and an investigation by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office it was determined there was probable cause to issue a citation to Greg Gianforte for misdemeanor assault," he said. The statement added that the "nature of the injuries did not meet the statutory elements of felony assault."At a press conference earlier in the day, Gootkin said that four people were present for the alleged incident.As a result of the citation, Gianforte is schedule to appear in Gallatin County Justice Court between now and June 7.Ben Jacobs, a political reporter for The Guardian, approached former technology executive Gianforte at a meet-and-greet event at the candidate's office in Bozeman, according to Jacobs, fellow reporter Alexis Levinson of Buzzfeed News, who was nearby and heard the commotion, and journalists with Fox News who witnessed the incident.Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna said she and two members of her production crew -- field producer Faith Mangan and photographer Keith Railey -- witnessed the incident first hand."Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him," Acuna wrote in a Fox News report on Wednesday, summarizing the incident."Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter," she said, confirming Jacobs' account of the incident.As Levinson recounted in a series of posts on Twitter and in audio of the encounter later posted by The Guardian, Jacobs approached Gianforte as he was preparing for a television interview and asked for his opinion on the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the American Health Care Act."We'll talk to you about that later," said Gianforte. After Jacobs asks again, Gianforte refers him to a spokesman and then a scuffle ensues."I'm sick and tired of you guys," said Gianforte on the audio recording. "The last guy who came in here ... did the same thing. Get the hell out of here."At one point Gianforte asks, "Are you with The Guardian?"After the alleged incident Wednesday, Jacobs wrote on Twitter, "Greg Gianforte just body slammed me and broke my glasses."
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