Holmdel Township Police Department(HOLMDEL, N.J.) — The superintendent of a New Jersey school district has been arrested for repeatedly defecating on a neighboring school’s property, police said.Thomas Tramaglini, the superintendent of the Kenilworth School District, was taken into custody early Tuesday while he was running on the Holmdel High School track, according to the Holmdel Township Police Department.Sgt. Theodore Sigismondi said Tramaglini, 42, was charged with lewdness, littering and defecating in public.“Holmdel High staff and coaches were finding human feces on or near the area of the high school track/football field on a daily basis,” according to the police statement.Sigismondi would not elaborate on the methods they used to identify Tramaglini or on any possible motives.The school’s staff began monitoring the area and identified Tramaglini, who resides only several miles away from the school, as the person leaving feces on the property.ABC News was unable to reach Tramaglini for comment. Calls to his attorney were not immediately returned.His next court appearance is scheduled for May 30.Tramaglini requested and was granted a paid leave of absence from the Kenilworth School District, where he was “unanimously appointed” to be the superintendent in December 2015, according to the district’s website.The Board of Education’s president at the time of the appointment described Tramaglini as someone with “a commitment to student achievement, while achieving superior standards of academic excellence,” in a 2015 announcement to the district.While police continue to investigate, Brian Luciani, the director of academics, will handle the duties of superintendent to ensure that the district continues “its responsibilities without interruption,” according to a statement released by the Kenilworth Board of Education.William Loughran –principal of Holmdel High School, where the human waste was found — had no comment on the incident.The two school districts are about 30 miles apart.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Army soldiers have removed barbed wire along the US-Mexico border in areas where the Trump administration has said more border security measures are needed after local community leaders raised concerns.About 2 miles of military-grade wire was removed from city land in Laredo, Texas, according to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials. The agency ordered the removals after hearing from local elected officials who raised environmental and public safety concerns with the wire running near community parks.Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, who leads the Texas Border Commission, said the Trump administration has, in part, used his community to fabricate the threat of migrants traveling north.“They want to be overly protective,” Saenz told ABC News. “But at what cost? The cost to the local economy. The cost to our livelihoods here at the border area.”Citing the “very real threat we face at the border,” the Trump administration recently extended the deployment of U.S. troops along the border through January. “As the situation along the border continues to evolve, we will continue to assess our operational needs, including removal of the c-wire,” a CBP official said in a statement to ABC News. Laredo routinely handles the bulk of trade across the US-Mexico border, which amounts to more than $200 billion each year.Saenz emphasized the historic, cultural connection between Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, the Mexican town directly across the border line. He said the politicized decision-making has strained this relationship and threatens the local economy.“By all means we want security, but it’s got to be done properly and weighed carefully,” the mayor said.Razor wire has also been removed in Hidalgo, Texas, where the Rio Grande River valley acts as a natural impediment to crossing as it does throughout much of south Texas.Even though some border communities like Hidalgo haven’t seen the direct impact from the military fortifications, City Councilman Rudy Franz says the extra measures are excessive.“This is blown out of proportion,” Franz told ABC News. “I don’t think it’s necessary. I think it puts fear in people.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock/Thinkstock(PARADISE, Calif.) — This holiday season has proven especially difficult for Paradise, California, residents where the Camp Fire reduced homes, businesses and lives to ashes.Nicole Hoenig and her 2-year-old daughter Mira celebrated Christmas as best they could, but the stark reality of loss made it hard to have a normal holiday.“We’re trying to have a Christmas, you know, in any way shape or form that we can,” Hoenig told ABC News. “It’s just everyone doing the best they can, trying to give your kids whatever you can to help them feel normal.” After being displaced by the fires, Hoenig and her family, like many Northern California residents, could not spend the holidays at home. Hoenig spent Christmas at a friend’s pool house, where she has been staying.Her father Jim Hoenig was living in his RV in a Lowe’s parking lot in Chico, California, about 15 miles away from Paradise.“I came into this world with nothing, I’ll leave with nothing and in between is the stuff that I can do and help other people with,” Hoenig’s father said. “I’m perfectly set.”The Hoenig’s were just three of the nearly 50,000 people in Butte County displaced by the Camp Fire — which authorities deemed the most destructive and deadliest in California history.The inferno claimed all but a single box of their family mementos.“The sentimental value of it is more than anything I could ever explain. Because it’s the only thing I’ll ever be able to give her,” Nicole Hoenig said of the now prized possessions. “It means the world to be able to pass some of that stuff down to her.”Jim Hoenig drove his RV back to his burned out property on Christmas Eve. There, amid the rubble, he found his cat Rusty who had been missing since the fire broke out — it was a Christmas miracle.When the Camp Fire started on Nov. 8, neighborhoods quickly went up in flames, torching cars, burning down homes and leaving little more than ashy debris.This was unlike an ordinary fire, with winds reaching speeds up to 50 mph, which helped to fuel the flames and sent sparks flying through the air, creating a firestorm.The fire burned the area for 17 days, scorched over 153,000 acres and killed at least 86 people, hitting the town of Paradise the hardest.The rapidly shifting fire forced many residents like Nichole Jolly to evacuate with only the clothes on their back and drive through blinding smoke and flames.Jolly told ABC News that in the moment of her escape, she didn’t think she was going to make it out alive.“I knew I was going to die if I stayed in my car,” she said. “I called my husband and just said, ‘I don’t think I’m going to make it out of this. It’s coming in too fast,’” she recalled days after the fire. “I thought I was going to die right there.”Luckily she escaped thanks to a heroic pair of firemen.“I couldn’t breathe, the air was so hot, it was burning my lungs, you couldn’t see anything,” she said. “The back of my pants were on fire and two firemen picked me up, extinguished my pants, put me into their fire engine and put a fire blanket over me.”Jolly said she told her husband, “I’m alive. I’m here and I love you.” In the following weeks, she returned to her childhood home that had burned to the ground.“It’s so sad,” she said. “I’m happy that I got out with my life.”Her family lost nearly everything.“It’s awful just terrible to see everything that we worked so hard in our lives just gone,” Jolly said crying.The emotional toll coping with their loss around the holiday season has been especially difficult.“This was the glue to our family was this house,” Jolly said of the home where they used to celebrate Thanksgiving.But this year, Jolly “didn’t have Thanksgiving” she said, because “We couldn’t fit a turkey in our motor home oven.”Jolly plans to rebuild, but her home was one of 14,000 destroyed by the Camp Fire and the surrounding housing market is dire.Ed Mayer, the executive director of the Butte County Housing Authority, said the lack of property is a “secondary crisis.”“Everything is in upheaval mode right now,” Mayer said. “Fire’s out but now we’re dealing with a secondary crisis — Not enough housing.” According to Mayer, 14 percent of homes in Butte County were decimated by the fire, exacerbated by the already high demand for homes in California.He said that before the Camp Fire, the housing authority thought there “was around one and a half [to] two percent vacancy rate.”“All of those units were instantly absorbed by those coming out of the fire. So there really is no housing availability locally at all. Nothing,” he said bluntly.Mayer also said that price gouging and bidding wars have become the norm for residents who lost everything, but have the means to rebuild.“We’ve had clients coming in saying landlords have proposed $500 a month rate increases,” Mayer said. “There is a cap on rent increases, but we’ve seen the local ‘For Sale’ market kind of go crazy. We have folks bidding houses well above asking price on a regular basis.”Affordable housing is also now hard to come by, especially for those hardest hit like the elderly and the poor, who are left to decide between transitional housing or shelters.“There’s really no other place for them to go. There’s no other place in California that offers affordable rents and proximity to services,” Mayer explained. “So this is going to be a very, very difficult situation to work through.”FEMA has roughly 2,000 temporary trailers on standby ready to deliver to Butte County, but the problem is on the local level and finding available space for the trailers.“Not everyone wants to have a FEMA-manufactured home complex behind their house,” Mayer said.Residents have been cautioned against moving trailers onto their properties without basic infrastructure where their homes once stood because much of the areas may contain toxic ash.Additionally, not everyone is qualified for federal help.Daniel Wynne, an external affairs technical specialist at FEMA, said the process can be confusing but ultimately FEMA is there “to assist in long-term recovery.”“It is a confusing process, but we are not the first responders,” Wynne said. “You have excellent first responders in your community. We are here with state and county to assist in long-term recovery.”One assistance facility in Chico, California, averages 800 people per day, all of whom are seeking help to move forward.Residents of Paradise didn’t lose just their homes, they also lost businesses and jobs.The Feather River Hospital where Jolly worked closed after suffering extensive damage, leaving her and hundreds of other nurses out of work.“I am not able to work right now. The hospital is going to rebuild, they said. But it’s going to be at least a year if not two before they are up and moving again,” she explained. “I’m looking for work, but so [are] 300 other nurses.”Jolly said she spent her last moments at Feather River helping get patients to safety as flames engulfed the property.“We put tape on the doors when we knew that that room was evacuated, we shut the door so nobody went in there, we got the whole hospital out,” she recalled.Jolly started a GoFundMe page, like thousands of others, to help those left in the wasteland they used to call Paradise.“I want to help every one of them and I know they want to help me. But it’s hard because we’re all – we’re all on the same page. We’re all in the same boat,” she said. “We can’t help each other because we can barely survive ourselves.”Pleas for help have been heard by many statewide.The Spirit of Liberty Foundation flew up from Southern California with Santa to deliver gifts in time for Christmas. Paradise residents were overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers who brought the joy of Christmas to the Silver Dollar fairgrounds turned Red Cross shelter.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Shadow Lantry(TAMPA, Fla.) — For once, police were thankful a group of criminals broke into a car.A group of inmates on work duty in New Port Richey, Florida, came to the rescue of a forgetful father who accidentally locked his keys — and, more importantly, his 1-year-old baby — in his truck earlier this week.Five prisoners, along with deputies from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, were working to repair medians outside the West Pasco Judicial Center on Thursday when they saw the father begin to panic and a crowd gather around the locked car.An onlooker provided the inmates with a wire hanger and they went to work.“[We were] surprised when somebody had a wire coat hanger, [and] we were able to get the door open enough to get it in there, unlock the door,” Richard Stanger, from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, told Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS.The inmates were described as “low-risk offenders.”“A lot of them, like these individuals, they know they made bad mistakes, bad choices, but they want to do the right thing in life,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.In a cellphone video shot by the truck’s owner, deputies can be heard telling the dad to “pop his head in the window” every once in a while, so the baby doesn’t get scared by all the “strange faces.”It took about two minutes for them to pop the lock — and trigger the car alarm — in order to get the baby out of the truck.The victory triggered celebration by those who had crowded around the vehicle.Luckily it was a fairly cool day in the Tampa area with a high of 72 degrees on Thursday. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department(LOS ANGELES) — An Amber Alert was issued Thursday for a California teenager after investigators learned she was last seen with her mother and a man who are suspects in a murder and considered “armed and dangerous.” Alora Benitez, 15, was last seen around 9 a.m. on Wednesday in Torrance, California, accompanied by her mother, Maricela Mercado, and Roman Cerratos, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Mercado, 40, and Cerratos, 39, are suspects in a homicide that occurred on Tuesday in Carson, California, according to the sheriff’s department. The victim, whose name was not released, was found dead in the front seat of a white Audi near a business district in the Southern California town.“They are considered armed and dangerous,” sheriff’s officials said of Mercado and Ceratos in a statement. Alora was last seen leaving Torrance with her mother and Cerratos in a white 2013 BMW, four-door sedan with the Nevada license plate MARIMAR.“Los Angeles County Homicide Bureau is requesting the public’s assistance in locating Alora and safely returning her to her family,” the sheriff’s department statement reads. “Please do not take independent action, call 9-1-1 and alert local police or sheriff’s officials.”Homicide detectives learned that Alora was last seen with her mother and Cerratos while investigating the homicide Tuesday morning in Carson.The murder victim, whose name was not released, was found bleeding about 3:30 a.m. inside a car parked in a business district, according to the sheriff’s department. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Sheriff’s officials initially said the victim had been stabbed to death but later told reporters that the cause of death was pending an autopsy.Anyone with information on the missing girl can contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A helicopter has crashed into a Midtown Manhattan building on Monday, according to the New York Fire Department.The helicopter made a hard landing onto the roof of the building, said a fire official.The building is located on 7th Avenue between 51st and 52nd streets.This is a breaking news story, please check back for updates.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
iStock(EL PASO, Texas) — In the wake of a shooting in El Paso, Texas, that left 20 dead and dozens more injured, people wasted no time heading to blood donation centers and stood on line for hours for the chance to help.Hours later, another community was left reeling in the wake of a mass shooting, after a deadly rampage in Dayton, Ohio, in the early hours of Sunday morning.Officials in both communities are asking for help from the public, though in slightly different ways.Dayton is still just hours removed from the shooting, so more specific ways to help remain largely in the works.For now, though, police are calling for witnesses to reach out with any and all tips regarding the shooting, which took place just after 1 a.m. local time.They have launched a family assistance center for friends or relatives of possible victims to gather and receive information.As El Paso recovers from the massacre that unfolded at a Walmart on Saturday, officials are calling on the public — both nearby and from afar — to help.Where to donate blood:Vitalant, in El Paso, has reached capacity for walk-ins, but they’ve asked those who want to donate to make an appointment at bloodhero.com or call 1-877-258-4825.Vitalant has three locations that will be open Sunday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.: 424 S. Mesa Hills Dr., 1338 N. Zaragoza Rd. and Abundant Living Faith Center at 1000 Valley Crest.Additionally, there is a blood donation center nearly 40 miles outside of El Paso at Las Cruces Mesilla Valley Mall, located at 700 S Telshor Blvd. Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011.How to get there:Ride share service Lyft will offer free rides up to $15 each way to blood donation centers using code ELPRELIEF19.Victim Assistance:The El Paso Community Foundation has set up an online fund to help those impacted by the shooting. The foundation said it will waive administrative fees and pay credit card fees associated with fundraising for the victims, and that it will work with the city of El Paso and the county to disburse funds.The VA of El Paso urged any victims, or family of victims, who are veterans to call the Veteran Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.Perches Funeral Homes will provide free funerals to the victims of the mass shooting. To learn more, call (915) 532-2101.Operation Hope will be partnering with Sunset and Martin Funeral Homes to assist victim’s families with funeral expenses, according to ABC News affiliate KVIA-TV.Other ways to donate:The Pebble Hills Regional Command Center is accepting ice and water.The local chapter of the American Red Cross has mobilized staff and volunteers, and are working with local emergency officials in El Paso. Those looking to help can find more information on the local chapter’s website.The City of El Paso also tweeted a link for those who would like to help by donating to the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
ABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — From California to New Jersey, heat will be the story for the holiday weekend forecast.For example, it’s been the hottest start of the summer since 2005 in Albany, New York, where it has already had seven days of 90-plus degrees.Also, the heat reached most of the northern reaches of the lower 48 states Thursday with Duluth, Minnesota, breaking a record high temperature with 93 degrees.More heat and humidity east of the Rockies is in the forecast Friday, with most areas feeling like its 90 to 100 degrees. Some areas will feel closer to 110 degrees in the South-central states.A heat advisory has been issued from Minneapolis all the way down to Shreveport, Louisiana, Friday.Over the holiday weekend, the heat will hang out for most of the East Coast, and then spread into the West as well, with 110 degrees possible in southern California.The only relatively cooler areas will be in New England and in the Pacific Northwest, where temps will be mostly in the 70s.Strong to severe storms from the Plains to the Northeast are worth monitoring this weekend.Already more than 150 damaging storms reports have been observed from Colorado to Maine Thursday, with five reported tornadoes in Colorado and Nebraska. No damage was reported with these tornadoes.As the cold front moves through the Northeast, strong to severe storms are possible from Vermont down to New Jersey, where damaging winds and some hail will be the biggest threat.More severe storms are expected in the Plains from western Montana and Wyoming to the Dakotas, where damaging winds and large hail will be the biggest threat.Last but not least, a stationary front will continue to sit across the South and produce more storms from Oklahoma to Florida. The biggest threat in the South will be heavy rain that could produce flash flooding, where some areas could see more than 4 inches of rain.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
vmargineanu/iStockBy JON HAWORTH, ABC News (NEW YORK) — A woman is lucky to be alive after a cop shot and killed a pit bull in the middle of a violent mauling that left her with serious injuries to her leg and neck.The incident occurred on Oct. 20 at approximately 4:30 p.m. in Enfield, Connecticut, when a police officer was responding to a report of a large dog attack nearby, according to the Enfield Police Department.The officer, who responded on foot to the call, immediately found a woman being attacked by a pit bull and noticed that she had sustained severe lacerations and tissue damage to her foot, which the animal was still clinging onto in the attack.“The dog’s owners were able to briefly stop the dog from attacking the woman by pouring hot water on it,” the Enfield Police Department said in a statement released on social media. “The dog then lunged toward the woman’s neck area, bit her, and began to pull her back into the front yard of the property from the sidewalk.”To avoid any further injuries to the woman, the Enfield Police Department said the officer “dispatched the dog.” Police did not say whether the dog was on a leash.“The Enfield Police Department wishes to stress that action such as this is taken only under extraordinary circumstances,” authorities said in a statement regarding the incident. “This outcome, while unfortunate, appears to have been unavoidable from any further harm or additional injury.”The woman involved in the attack was immediately treated by EMS personnel who responded to the scene to provide her with medical care. Her current condition and the severity of her injuries is unknown.A supervisory review and investigation of this incident remains ongoing.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
narvikk/iStockBy ERIN SCHUMAKER and ARIELLE MITROPOULOS, ABC News(ST. PAUL, Minn.) — New coronavirus cases in Minnesota surpassed 4,000 for the third straight day on Tuesday, following a record-breaking surge on Sunday with more than 5,900 new daily infections, according to state health department data.The seven-day average for hospitalizations has risen nearly 142% over the past month. With 1,000 patients hospitalized Monday and 92% of ICU beds full, Gov. Tim Walz requested federal aid to support hospitals and long-term health facilities experiencing shortages, according to an internal Health and Human Services memo obtained by ABC News.Hospitals in the Twin Cities are now declining patient transfers from neighboring states like North Dakota and Iowa, according to the HHS memo.The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed to ABC News last month that at least 23 coronavirus cases had been linked to three in-state Trump campaign events in September.Minnesota’s rising infections are part of a COVID-19 wave that’s swept the Midwest this fall, according to Dr. Amy Williams, a dean for practice at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. In addition to new cases, the Midwest’s positive testing rate has increased “exponentially over the last four weeks,” she said.In Minnesota, as of Monday, an average of 13.5% of tests returned positive every day in the past week, according to an ABC News analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project, a rate nearly three times higher than health experts recommend. A high positivity rate can be a sign that a state is only testing its sickest patients and failing to cast a net wide enough to accurately capture community transmission, according to Johns Hopkins University.Williams called a positivity rate higher than 10% “very, very serious,” noting that it’s a threshold at which experts start to worry about having the capacity to care for COVID-19 patients.Although new cases grew among all age groups, people in their 20s made up the bulk of new confirmed cases, according to the HHS memo. Although older patients, who are at higher risk for COVID-19 complications and death, were hospitalized more often at the beginning of the pandemic, Williams said younger and younger patients are now being being hospitalized.In response to the widespread surge of COVID-19 cases across the state, Walz announced on Tuesday that the state would implement new restrictions, including mandating that bars and restaurants close at 10 p.m, and limiting indoor and outdoor private social gatherings to 10 people. Additional restrictions, like limited funerals and weddings to 50 people, will be phased in in the coming weeks.ABC News’ Josh Margolin contributed to this report.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.