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OJ Simpson’s parole hearing underway in Nevada

ABC News(LOVELOCK, Nev.) — O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing is underway in Nevada, and if he’s granted parole on Thursday, he could be a free man later this year.

Simpson, 70, is appearing remotely via video conference from Lovelock Correctional Facility in Nevada, where he’s serving time for kidnapping and armed robbery.

Simpson’s fate will be determined and announced later Thursday.

The commissioners will consider items including: his conduct in prison, participation in prison programs, potential letter of support and an assessment of the risk of re-offending.

He needs four votes from commissioners to get paroled.

Four commissioners will deliberate in Carson City; if they are unanimous, that will become the final decision.

If the panel splits in any way, they will stop the voting and call in via phone two additional commissioners who will be on standby in Las Vegas so the voting can resume.

If the deliberation moves to six commissioners, four of them must grant parole for Simpson to be released.

If the parole board is split evenly, the board has established a policy to deny parole for six months, and a subsequent hearing will be held in January 2018.

If the former football star is granted parole on Thursday, his earliest possible release date would be Oct. 1.

If he is not granted parole, commissioners will decide the date of the next parole board meeting, which could be as far away as five years.

Simpson’s football career took him from the University of Southern California to the Buffalo Bills. Following his retirement, his celebrity status catapulted him to movie stardom and a cushy Brentwood, California, mansion.

More than 20 years ago, Simpson went on trial for the killing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. The two were found on June 12, 1994, stabbed to death at her Los Angeles home. On Oct. 3, 1995, at the end of a televised trial that captivated the nation, Simpson was acquitted of all criminal charges. He has always maintained his innocence.

A civil jury later ordered Simpson to pay $33.5 million in damages after finding him liable for wrongful death in the double murder.

Simpson is in prison following an arrest in 2007 during a botched robbery in Las Vegas, when he led a group of men into a hotel and casino to steal sports memorabilia at gunpoint. The former football star contended the memorabilia and other personal items belonged to him.

He was charged with a number of felony counts, including kidnapping and armed robbery. He was found guilty and sentenced to up to 33 years in prison.

His bid for a new trial in the case was rejected in 2013, but he was granted parole that same year on some of the charges, based on good behavior. He was not released from prison at that time, since his prison sentences were set to run consecutively. Simpson had to wait until this year to appear again before the parole board.

Simpson’s friend, Tom Scotto, told ABC News that Simpson is “hopeful.” Scotto said if Simpson is freed, he would want “to just keep a low profile, be with his kids, be with his family, play golf.”

Hours before the parole hearing, Ron Goldman’s father, Fred Goldman, told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, “What’s troubling to me is not only him, but the whole system gives second chances to violent felons or, for that matter, anyone in jail. … Ron doesn’t get a second chance.”

“Ron never gets to spend his life doing what he wanted to do,” Fred Goldman continued. “We’ll never get to share his life, and the killer will walk free and get to do whatever he wants.”

Fred Goldman said the parole board should take into account that Simpson was found liable for the killings in the 1997 civil trial.

“I think his whole history of violence, ignoring the law, no respect for the law, no remorse for virtually anything he’s ever done is an indication of who he is as a person,” Fred Goldman said. “I don’t think there’s any reason to think that he’s going to be a decent human being in society. I think he’s proved otherwise.”

Added Ron Goldman’s sister, Kim Goldman, “We lived our life with [Simpson] walking the streets and sharing the same roads that we did.”

“With him being locked up in Lovelock, it’s been a chance for us to kind of reclaim some control over our life and have some glimpse of sanity,” she said. “I’m preparing myself for that to be changing come October.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ahead of OJ Simpson parole hearing, Ron Goldman’s family said they may never see justice

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Hours before O.J. Simpson is to go before a Nevada parole board, Fred and Kim Goldman, the father and sister of Ron Goldman, spoke out and said they may never see justice for the killing of their family member.

“Ron never gets to spend his life doing what he wanted to do,” a tearful Fred Goldman told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos Thursday on Good Morning America. “We’ll never get to share his life, and the killer will walk free and get to do whatever he wants.”

Stephanopoulos asked the Goldmans if they think they may ever see justice.

We’ll “probably never see that … never get the justice,” Fred Goldman said.

Fred and Kim Goldman were present as Simpson stood trial for the 1994 killing of Ron Goldman and the football star’s wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

Simpson was acquitted of charges in both killings but in an unrelated case he is serving a 33-year sentence at Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada in connection with a kidnapping and armed robbery.

Simpson has so far served nine years and will have a parole hearing Thursday in which case, the former Heisman trophy winner could walk free.

Craig Arnett, a former guard at Lovelock Correctional, described Simpson as a model prisoner.

“He’s still an inmate, but he definitely wasn’t a problem child like some of the other ones were,” Arnett told ABC News Wednesday. “I think he has a strong chance of getting out. I think he hasn’t really been a problem in prison.”

If Simpson is granted parole, his earliest possible release date is Oct. 1.

Denial could mean at least another three years behind bars.

ABC will have live coverage of Simpson’s parole hearing Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/19/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
San Francisco 5, Cleveland 4
L.A. Dodgers 9, Chicago White Sox 1, 8 innings
L.A. Angels 7, Washington 0

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Minnesota 6, N.Y. Yankees 1
Seattle 4, Houston 1
Oakland 7, Tampa Bay 2
Baltimore 10, Texas 2
Boston 5, Toronto 1
Kansas City 4, Detroit 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Philadelphia 10, Miami 3
Chicago Cubs 8, Atlanta 2
Colorado 18, San Diego 4
Pittsburgh 3, Milwaukee 2, 10 innings
N.Y. Mets 7, St. Louis 3
Cincinnati 4, Arizona 3, 11 innings

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/18/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
L.A. Dodgers 1, Chicago White Sox 0
Washington 3, L.A. Angels 2
San Francisco 2, Cleveland 1, 10 innings

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 12, Texas 1
Houston 6, Seattle 2
Detroit 9, Kansas City 3
Boston 5, Toronto 4, 15 innings
N.Y. Yankees 6, Minnesota 3
Tampa Bay 4, Oakland 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 4, Milwaukee 3
Philadelphia 5, Miami 2
St. Louis 5, N.Y. Mets 0
Arizona 11, Cincinnati 2
Chicago Cubs 5, Atlanta 1
Colorado 9, San Diego 7

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ohio father of 4 bids farewell before deportation to Mexico

Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer via Barcroft(WILLARD, Ohio) — An Ohio father of four bid an emotional farewell to his family Tuesday morning before returning to Mexico.

Jesus Lara Lopez, who formerly worked at Pepperidge Farm in Willard, Ohio, was seen off by family and about a dozen supporters at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Tuesday morning, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Photographs taken at the airport before his flight show Lopez embracing his children in a series of tearful goodbyes.

When Lopez checked in with immigration officials back in March, he was told he was being deported under “an illegal immigration crackdown,” his lawyer David Leopold told the press Tuesday.

Lopez has been in the country for 16 years, and his children were born in the U.S., the Plain Dealer reported.

Lopez was first ordered to be removed in 2011 by a federal immigration judge, Khaalid Walls, the Northeast regional communications director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told ABC News.

In 2014, the agency granted a stay of removal in his case, Walls said, and “in a further exercise of discretion, the agency has allowed him to remain free from custody to finalize his departure plans.”

“The agency will continue to closely monitor his case to ensure compliance,” he said.

Walls said ICE could not confirm to ABC News whether or not Lopez had complied with their request until after he is “successfully repatriated” for operational and security reasons, but would try to provide an update on his status later today.

ABC affiliate WEWS-TV in Cleveland reported that Lopez had never been charged with a crime during his 16 years in the U.S., has paid taxes and did not receive food stamps.

Walls noted in response that the lack of a criminal record does not necessarily exempt an illegal immigrant from facing deportation.

“As Secretary [John] Kelly and Acting Director [Thomas D.] Homan have stated repeatedly, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of national security and public safety threats; however, no class or category of alien in the United States is exempt from arrest or removal,” he told ABC News.

Leopold told WEWS-TV that his client had a valid work permit. The New York Times reported in June that Lopez “[worked] the graveyard shift packing Milano cookies and Goldfish crackers” while at Pepperidge Farm.

ABC News reached out to Pepperidge Farm for a comment about Lopez’s work permit and the company said he was hired by a third-party company, Spherion, which manages packaging workers at the facility. Spherion confirmed to ABC News that Lopez did have a valid work permit and they hired him in October of 2016.

“These are the darkest times I’ve ever seen as an attorney. When the best and the brightest that we have to offer are taken from their homes and sent away,” Leopold told reporters. “The law is so broken.”

America’s Voice, an immigration rights advocacy group, posted a statement on its website criticizing the deportation of Lopez from John Sandweg, former Acting Director of ICE and former Acting General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security.

“Cases like this are an incredible waste of ICE resources that only make it harder for the agency to identify and remove dangerous criminals,” Sandweg wrote. He added that he believes enforcement resources should be focused on finding criminals and public safety threats instead.

Sandweg has been a vocal critic of President Trump’s broad promise of reducing illegal immigration to the U.S. a central part of his 2016 campaign.

The U.S. had already been focused on enforcing immigration rules under former President Barack Obama, who oversaw the removal of more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, earning him the nickname “Deporter in Chief.”

“The [Trump] Administration’s focus on the low-hanging fruit of the enforcement system only allows the bad guys to remain at large, weakening our public safety,” Sandweg added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

POLL: Distrust in Trump deepens North Korea concerns

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Public concern about North Korea is widespread — alongside skepticism of President Donald Trump’s ability to handle the risks.

Eighty-one percent of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll see North Korea as a threat to the United States, including 66 percent who see it as a “serious” threat, up 12 points from 2005. Nearly three-quarters are concerned about the possibility of a full-scale war, with half of them “very” concerned.

As part of those worries, just 36 percent express trust in Trump’s ability to handle the situation; 63 percent distrust him, with a large portion, 40 percent, trusting him “not at all.” Among those who distrust Trump to handle the situation, worry about a full-scale war soars to 83 percent.

Distrust in Trump on the issue is highly partisan, ranging from 87 percent among Democrats to 19 percent of Republicans in this survey, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates. Tipping the balance, it’s 66 percent among independents. And Democrats are most apt to fear a full-scale war — 86 percent, vs. 68 percent of Republicans and independents alike.

Generational differences emerge: Among adults age 40 and older, 87 percent see North Korea as a threat to the United States, and 77 percent see it as a serious threat. Comparable numbers are lower by 17 and 28 points, respectively, among younger adults, who may be less in touch with the nuclear threat of years past. Younger adults also are less apt to trust Trump to deal with the situation — just 29 percent do, vs. 41 percent of those age 40-plus.

There also are large gender gaps on the issue. Women are much less likely than men to trust Trump to handle the situation, 29 to 44 percent. Conversely, women are much more likely to see North Korea as a serious threat, 73 to 59 percent; to be concerned about the risk of full-scale war, 83 vs. 64 percent; and to be very concerned about it, 51 vs. 27 percent. (Note, women typically are more willing than men to express concern in surveys.)

Methodology

This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone July 10-13, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 35-23-35 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, New York, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/17/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Cleveland 5, San Francisco 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 3, Texas 1
Toronto 4, Boston 3
Minnesota 4, N.Y. Yankees 2
Seattle 9, Houston 7, 10 Innings
Detroit 10, Kansas City 2
Tampa Bay 3, Oakland 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Washington 6, Cincinnati 1
Pittsburgh 4, Milwaukee 2
St. Louis 6, N.Y. Mets 3
Miami 6, Philadelphia 5, 10 Innings
Chicago Cubs 4, Atlanta 3
Colorado 9, San Diego 6

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Spicer repeats debunked line about reason for Trump Jr. Russia meeting

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — White House press secretary Sean Spicer held an off-camera briefing for the first time in weeks, in which he appeared to mischaracterize the motivation for Donald Trump Jr.’s controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign.

Since news of that June 9, 2016, meeting broke last week, Donald Trump Jr. has both released multiple statements about the meeting and published the emails that showed the planning that went into the meeting. In the emails, and as repeated in his statements, it is clear that the reason Trump Jr. went to the meeting — along with then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and then-campaign adviser Jared Kushner — was in the hopes of obtaining damaging information about his father’s then-opponent Hillary Clinton.

Spicer’s statement on Monday, however, did not reflect that information.

“There was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for discussion about adoption and the Magnitsky Act,” Spicer said, “but I would refer you back to counsel on that one.”

Unanswered questions about Russian lawyer’s meeting with Donald Trump Jr.

In the first statement that Donald Trump Jr. released about the meeting on July 8, he described it as a “short introductory meeting … about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago.” He added more details in a subsequent statement released on July 9, however, noting that he was asked to have the meeting “with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign.” The statement goes on to describe how the Russian lawyer “changed subjects” and her “true agenda” was to talk about adoption policy.

Monday marked Spicer’s return to the podium for the first time since June 26. The press secretary ceded the task to principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the interim.

Asked about the rumors surrounding his job on June 20, Spicer responded, “I’m right here.”

“It’s no secret we’ve had a couple vacancies, including our communications director is gone for a while,” Spicer added. “We’ve been seeking input from individuals as far as ideas that they have. We’ve been meeting with potential people that may be of service to this administration. I don’t think that should come as any surprise. But we’re always looking for ways to do a better job of articulating the president’s message and his agenda, and we’ll continue to have those discussions internally.”

Monday’s briefing was again held off camera, continuing a trend that has been carried out throughout the month of July. The last on-camera briefing was held on June 29.

Sanders was asked about the choice to limit the public’s viewing of the press conference last week.

“We’re always looking at different approaches and different ways to communicate the president’s message and talk about the agenda,” she said. “This is one of the many ways we choose to do that.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Public to Trump: Lay off Twitter (POLL)

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Americans are highly disapproving of President Donald Trump in personal terms, with his tweeting habit a major irritant: Seventy percent say he’s acted in an unpresidential manner since taking office, 68 percent don’t see him as a positive role model and 67 percent disapprove of his use of Twitter.

Fifty-seven percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll also say that the more they hear about Trump the less they like him, vs. 29 percent who like him more. And 56 percent say unpresidential conduct by Trump is “damaging to the presidency overall.”

Trump’s behavior comes in for some criticism even in his own camp. Nearly four in 10 Republicans, 38 percent, say his conduct has been unpresidential rather than “fitting and proper” for a president. So do 48 percent of evangelical white Protestants and 55 percent of non-college-educated white men, two core Trump support groups.

Specific to Twitter, word associations with Trump’s tweets are broadly negative in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates. Sixty-eight percent find them “inappropriate,” 65 percent “insulting,” 52 percent even “dangerous.” Fewer apply more positive descriptions: “interesting,” 41 percent; “effective,” 36 percent; or “refreshing,” 21 percent.

Such views are an important element of Trump’s poor job performance ratings. As reported Sunday, just 36 percent of Americans approve of his work in office overall, a record low at the six-month mark, and two-thirds distrust him to represent the United States in negotiations with other world leaders.

There are sharp differences among groups in response to Trump’s tweets, even beyond typical partisan and ideological divisions. While 58 percent of men call them inappropriate, that jumps to 78 percent among women. Conversely, just 29 percent of women see his tweets as interesting, vs. 54 percent of men. Forty-six percent of whites see them as dangerous, rising to 65 percent of nonwhites. Even among Republicans, well fewer than half, 41 percent, say they’re refreshing.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/16/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Chicago Cubs 8, Baltimore 0

AMERICAN LEAGUE
N.Y. Yankees 3, Boston 0, first game
Boston 3, N.Y. Yankees 0, second game
Detroit 6, Toronto 5, 11 Innings
Seattle 7, Chicago White Sox 6, 10 Innings
Houston 5, Minnesota 3
Kansas City 4, Texas 3
L.A. Angels 4, Tampa Bay 3
Oakland 7, Cleveland 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Washington 14, Cincinnati 4
Colorado 13, N.Y. Mets 4
L.A. Dodgers 3, Miami 2
Atlanta 7, Arizona 1
Pittsburgh 4, St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 5, Milwaukee 2
San Diego 7, San Francisco 1

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Baby goes crazy for her first ice cream cone in adorable viral video

ABCNews.com(WEST POINT, Ala.) — One baby is putting the “i” in ice cream because she loves the cold stuff.

Ashley Cavanaugh’s youngest daughter, 9-month-old Emma, was treated to her very first ice cream cone last month thanks to the baby’s great-grandmother, who asked ABC News not to identify her.

It all started when Cavanaugh, 27, and her maternal grandmother took a trip to an ice cream store in West Point, Alabama.

“At first she wasn’t sure about it … and then she attacked it,” the mother of three told ABC News of baby Emma.

In a hilarious video now gone viral on Facebook with more than 22,000 views, Emma is seen shoving her face right into the ice cream.

“All my girls have enjoyed ice cream but she’s the only one that’s reacted like that,” the mom added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

At least seven dead in Arizona flash flooding

iStock/Thinkstock(PAYSON, Ariz.) — A search-and-rescue operation is underway after seven people, including two children, died and several went missing in a flash flooding along the Verde River in Arizona on Saturday, according to the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

A large group was at the river swimming Saturday afternoon when the flash flood came from above them, police said. Three people, ranging from a 3-year-old to 60-year-old, are missing. Four people were rescued and airlifted to a local hospital, police said.

The news comes on the heels of a weather forecast by ABC News’ meteorologists predicting “monsoonal-related thunderstorms” throughout the weekend in the Southwest.

Emergency workers received a 911 call regarding a search-and-rescue operation around the Cold Springs Swimming Hole, located in the town of Payson, Arizona, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Payson “experienced heavy rain,” and search-and-rescue operations were initiated to find individuals who were reported missing, the sheriff’s office said. Search operations remain underway for other people who went missing during the flood, the sheriff’s office said.

Arizona is not out of the woods by any means, regarding concerns over extreme weather conditions. A flash flood watch will be in effect for the southeast part of the state from Sunday afternoon through Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/15/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Chicago Cubs 10, Baltimore 3
 
AMERICAN LEAGUE

N.Y. Yankees 4, Boston 1
Detroit 11, Toronto 1
Seattle 4, Chicago White Sox 3
Minnesota 4, Houston 2
Texas 1, Kansas City 0
Oakland 5, Cleveland 3
Tampa Bay 6, L.A. Angels 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
St. Louis 4, Pittsburgh 0
N.Y. Mets 9, Colorado 3
Milwaukee 3, Philadelphia 2
Washington 10, Cincinnati 7
Atlanta 8, Arizona 5
L.A. Dodgers 7, Miami 1
San Diego 5, San Francisco 3

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Seattle 90, Atlanta 84

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Six months in, latest poll reveals a record low for Trump

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Americans have given President Trump the lowest six-month approval rating of any president in polls dating back 70 years, punctuated by questions about his competence on the world stage, his effectiveness, the Republican health care plan and Russia’s role in the 2016 election.

Just 36 percent of Americans polled in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of Trump’s job performance, down 6 points from his 100-day mark, itself a low. The previous president closest to this level at or near six months was Gerald Ford, at 39 percent, in February 1975.

See the PDF with full results here.

Sixty-three percent in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, say it was inappropriate for Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign manager to have met with a Russian lawyer during the campaign. Six in 10 also think Russia tried to influence the campaign, and among those who say so, 67 percent think Trump aides helped, similar to results in April.

Yet the Russia controversy is just one on the list of Trump’s troubles. Just 38 percent say he’s making significant progress toward his goals; 55 percent think not. With no apparent help from the G-20 summit, two-thirds don’t trust him to negotiate with other world leaders — or with Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically — on America’s behalf. And about half say the country’s world leadership has grown weaker under Trump; just 27 percent say it’s gotten stronger.

On his party’s signature campaign issue — health care — Americans, by a 2-1 margin, prefer Obamacare over the Republican plan to replace it, 50-24 percent. (Another quarter either want something else entirely, 17 percent, or are undecided, 9 percent.) “Strong” preference for the existing law surpasses strong preference for the Republican plan by 20 percentage points. Relevant to proposed cuts in the growth of Medicaid, the public, by a broad 63-27 percent, says it’s more important to provide health care coverage for low-income Americans than to cut taxes.

Overview

Trump also suffers from weak personal ratings, a topic to be covered in a further report Monday morning. But two factors temper the situation for the president to some degree: weakness in his Democratic opposition and greater strength on the economy.

On the first of these, only 37 percent of Americans say the Democratic Party “stands for something,” while 52 percent say it just stands against Trump. The perceived lack of an affirmative agenda weakens the Democrats’ efforts to capitalize on Trump’s failings.

On the second, Trump’s overall job approval rating (36-58 percent, approve-disapprove) is surpassed by his rating for handling the economy, 43-41 percent, roughly an even split. An unusually large 16 percent aren’t ready to rate his economic performance; it was only 3 percent for President Barack Obama at six months.

Nonetheless, Trump’s position is a difficult one. After six months in office, his job approval rating is 4 points lower than Obama’s career low, which came in his sixth year. And 48 percent “strongly” disapprove of Trump’s job performance, again slightly surpassing the strongest disapproval of Obama’s career, in his fifth year. (Strong disapproval of Trump on the economy, though, is far lower at 29 percent vs. a high of 50 percent in Obama’s case.)

From another perspective, Trump’s 58 percent disapproval is 7 points higher than the next-highest disapproval rating at six months, President Bill Clinton’s in 1993.

Asked to make their own comparison, half of Americans say Trump is doing a worse job than most previous presidents vs. 23 percent who say he’s doing better, including 38 percent “much” worse vs. 17 percent “much” better. The rest, 24 percent, say he’s performing about the same as his predecessors in general.

Results are similar when it comes to the world stage: Americans by 48-27 percent say the United States has become weaker rather than stronger on the world stage under Trump, again with a substantial share, 23 percent, saying this has remained about the same.

Russia

Results on Russian interference show how attitudes about political issues can harden. Even though U.S. intelligence agencies have reported “with high confidence” that Russia sought to influence the 2016 election, four in 10 Americans either don’t think it happened (31 percent) or are unsure (9 percent), and recent disclosures haven’t changed that.

This leaves six in 10 overall who do think the Russians tried to influence the election; in this group, 72 percent think Trump benefited and, as noted, 67 percent think members of his campaign intentionally helped those efforts.

The number of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who think that the Russians sought to influence the election, and that the Trump team intentionally helped them, has fallen from 18 percent in April to 9 percent now, indicating even stiffer GOP resistance to the idea. Among leaned Democrats, it’s gone from 60 to 64 percent, not a significant shift.

As a combined total, the number of Americans who both think that the Russians tried to influence the campaign, and that Trump aides helped, is 41 percent — very similar to the 40 percent who don’t think Russia was involved or are unsure about it.

That said, two other overall results are less equivocal. Americans by 52-37 percent think Trump is trying to interfere with investigations of possible Russian influence, rather than cooperating. (It was 56-34 percent in early June, after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.) And by 63-26 percent the public says it was inappropriate for Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr.; son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and campaign manager, Paul Manafort, to meet last June with a Russian lawyer who was said to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Groups

Differences among groups mark the partisan nature of these times: At the most extreme, Trump ranges from a 90 percent approval rating among conservative Republicans to 5 percent among liberal Democrats. And leaving aside ideology, the gap is nearly as wide by partisanship alone — 82 percent approval for Trump among Republicans vs. 11 percent among Democrats. The deciding vote, as ever, is cast by independents, and just 32 percent approve.

Results are telling among other groups as well. Trump’s approval rating is 12 points higher among men than women, 42 percent vs. 30 percent; just 27 percent among 18- to 29-year-olds vs. 42 percent among seniors; and 29 percent in urban areas vs. 40 percent in the suburbs and 44 percent in rural areas.

Sixty-one percent of evangelical white Protestants approve of Trump’s performance, as do 55 percent of white men who don’t have a college degree — two mainstays of his election coalition. His support drops by 20 points among non-evangelical white Protestants vs. evangelicals, and by 24 points among college-educated white women vs. white men who lack a degree. Further, while 45 percent of whites overall approve of his work, that drops to 19 percent of Hispanics and 15 percent of blacks.

While generally less extreme, several of these are reversed in views of the Democratic Party.  A quarter of Democrats (27 percent) say their own party “just stands against Trump”; so do 55 percent of independents, soaring to 82 percent of Republicans. Men are 15 points more likely than women to hold this opinion, and 58 percent of whites see the Democrats as simply anti-Trump, compared with 31 percent of blacks, long among the most loyal Democratic groups.

One other result is telling in a different way: Senior citizens are 11 points more likely than young adults to think Russia tried to influence the election, 66 percent vs. 55 percent. Seniors, of course, will have the sharpest recollection of the Cold War, which is supposed to be long over.

Methodology

This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone July 10-13 in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 35-23-35 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, New York, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Russian lawyer obtained Hill hearing seat from former Florida Trump campaign chair’s husband

YURY MARTYANOV/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The husband of the former Florida chair of the Trump campaign obtained a front-row seat to a June 2016 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing for Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney who had met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower eight days prior.

Lanny Wiles, the husband of former Florida campaign chair Susie Wiles, saved the prominent seat for Veselnitskaya at the June 14 hearing on “U.S. Policy Toward Putin’s Russia,” ABC News has confirmed.

Photos and video of Veselnitskaya at the hearing show her seated directly behind Michael McFaul, former United States ambassador to Russia from 2012-2014.

Veselnitskaya’s work and connections have come under scrutiny after it was revealed last weekend that the Russian lawyer met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in June 2016. The meeting was allegedly pitched by Veselnitskaya as an opportunity for her to share damning information about Trump’s election rival, Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. said that Veselnitskaya instead used the meeting to lobby in favor of overturning the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 bill that blocks certain Russian officials’ entrance to the U.S. and their use of the U.S. banking system.

Lanny Wiles told ABC News he has “absolute, zero connection” to any relations the Russian lawyer may have had to the Trump campaign.

Susie Wiles, who was working for the Trump campaign at the time, told ABC News she was not aware of who her husband reserved seats for in the Congressional hearing, and said she has no knowledge of Veselnitskaya’s contact with the Trump campaign.

“It’s an unfortunate coincidence that I was helping and supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy while this meeting was going on,” she said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Trump campaign paid Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer weeks before Russian meeting was revealed

John Moore/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Almost two weeks before Donald Trump Jr. published screengrabs of purported emails indicating that he arranged to meet with a Russian lawyer, President Trump’s re-election campaign paid $50,000 in legal fees to the attorney now representing the president’s son amid ongoing Russia probes.

The payment was revealed in a Q2 FEC report filed on Saturday by the Trump campaign. On June 27, criminal defense attorney Alan Futerfas was paid by the campaign for “legal consulting.” On July 10, Futerfas was hired to represent Trump.

However, the FEC filing doesn’t indicate that the June 27 disbursement of funds to Futerfas was made for the purpose of representing Trump.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted four pages from what he said is an email chain with music producer Rob Goldstone. The messages appear to show Trump being offered damning information about Hillary Clinton in the heat of the 2016 presidential race. In response, Trump wrote, “I love it.”

Futerfas is known for representing individuals and companies in “traditional and white collar cases, trials and appeals, SEC investigations and regulatory matters,” according to his firm’s website. Throughout his career Futerfas has represented individuals accused of involvement in organized crime.

In a statement when the news broke of Trump’s meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, Futerfas said that it was “much ado about nothing.”

“The bottom line is that Don, Jr. did nothing wrong,” Futerfas said in a statement this week.

Trump has not been accused of any legal wrongdoing. On Tuesday he expressed regret for how he handled the June 2016 meeting, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interview that he “probably would have done things a little differently.”

According to the FEC report, the Trump campaign also paid the Trump Corporation almost $90,000 for “legal consulting.” The Trump campaign started the quarter with over $8 million, and spent $4.3 million.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/14/17

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Chicago Cubs 9, Baltimore 8

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Boston 5, N.Y. Yankees 4
Toronto 7, Detroit 2
Seattle 4, Chicago White Sox 2
Houston 10, Minnesota 5
Texas 5, Kansas City 3
Oakland 5, Cleveland 0
Tampa Bay 2, L.A. Angels 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 5, St. Louis 2
N.Y. Mets 14, Colorado 2
Washington 5, Cincinnati 0
L.A. Dodgers 6, Miami 4
Atlanta 4, Arizona 3
Milwaukee 9, Philadelphia 6
San Francisco 5, San Diego 4

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Washington 72, Indiana 58
Chicago 78, N.Y. Liberty 68
Minnesota 88, Phoenix 71

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

9-year-old born without legs finds success on wrestling team

ABC News(LONG BEACH, N.Y.) — Whether it’s in the classroom, on the sports field or in the ocean, Isaiah Bird is making waves.

Isaiah, who was born without legs, plays football, soccer, runs track, swims, surfs and skateboards. But the wrestling mat is where the 9-year-old from Long Beach, New York, has become the one to beat. In his fifth year on the wrestling team, Isaiah went 27-12.

“I just keep going on,” he said. “[I say:] ‘I can do this. There’s no excuses. I can do this.’ And I just do it. And I keep practicing and practicing. If I, one day I get pinned. … I go back to practicing and practicing and I get better and better and better.”

The rising fifth-grader has a supportive cheering section behind him made up of his mother, Bernadette Hopton; his friends and teammates; and his coach, Miguel Rodriguez. Isaiah said Rodriguez helped him a lot, giving him the fight to keep pushing.

“He says, ‘No matter what, you still can do all these things the other kids can do.’ And he says, ‘There’s no excuses. No matter what, you keep doing it. No matter what. Just do your thing. Have fun. That’s the most important thing,'” Isaiah said.

Rodriguez took Isaiah under his wing when the 9-year-old was in kindergarten. Since then, Rodriguez has functioned as both Isaiah’s coach and teacher assistant, accompanying him to every class and after-school.

Rodriguez said he got emails, phone calls and videos daily from adults and children around the U.S. saying that they’d been inspired after watching videos of Isaiah wrestling.

“He just gets it done. I think we complain a lot about everything in life. And we don’t know how easy we have it. Life is not always fair, but he doesn’t complain about it,” Rodriguez said.

He said that Isaiah was “one of the biggest gifts” in his life.

“I hope for him to follow his dreams. I hope for him to never change his personality and the way he is because he has an amazing, amazing personality. … He has no idea what changes he’s making in other people,” Rodriguez said. “Hopefully one day he can be a motivational speaker. Maybe he can, you know, travel the world and just show people that, you know what, he did it and that they can do it, too.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Student appears to topple art sculptures while taking a selfie at LA museum

The 14th Factory(LOS ANGELES) — Video surveillance footage from a Los Angeles pop-up museum features a selfie attempt gone horribly wrong, ending in what’s said to be a loss of sculptures valued at $200,000.

The incident took place two weeks ago inside an art installation room at The 14th Factory art exhibition in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, a museum spokeswoman told ABC News.

In the video a woman can be seen trying to take a photo of herself when she appears to lose her balance and knocks into an art display, causing a domino effect that takes down 11 identical display pillars, each with a sculpture on top. Three of the sculptures were permanently destroyed, totaling $200,000 in damages, according to the museum.

According to the spokeswoman for The 14th Factory, the woman seen on the video and apparently responsible for sending the art tumbling was a student. The nonprofit is calling the incident an accident.

The sculptures in the space were made of brass, nylon, gold plate, marble, wood, stone and metal.

The spokeswoman said the student, whose name was not released, was apologetic and offered the museum a donation. The museum would not disclose whether or not they accepted the donation or the amount.

Although the sculptures were not insured, The 14th Factory said it will not be suing the student to recover damages. It is believed that the video was leaked by a staff member at the exhibition, the spokeswoman added.

The exhibit features works by artists Simon Birch, Gloria Yu, Gabriel Chan and Jacob Blitzer.

All four artists have not yet responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

If visitors want to see this installation and all others at The 14th Factory, they can reserve their entry on the exhibit website.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Smith County Murder Trial Delayed

TYLER – The capital murder trial of a Smith County man is being delayed. State District Judge Jack Skeen has granted the motion to delay the proceedings for 24 year old Gustavo Zavala-Garcia. He has been charged with the death of 10-year-old Kayla Gomez-Orozco. She was abducted from a Bullard church last November. Her body was found four days later in a well on the suspect’s property. Both the prosecution and defense had requested the delay because of the large amounts of evidence and DNA testing results that have not been received and will be presented during the trial. No new date for the trial has been set.

Marshall Assault Suspect Surrenders

MARSHALL – Marshall police have an assault suspect in custody after putting out the word Tuesday that they were looking for him. Police say 23-year-old Dillon Burr of Marshall surrendered Wednesday at approximately 11:15 a.m. and was booked into the Harrison County Jail. An arrest warrant had been issued for Burr, charged with injury to the disabled, which is a felony. He was also wanted for a parole violation warrant out of Harrison County. Shortly before 12:30 on Sunday morning, Burr is said to have repeatedly hit a man and knocked him to the ground at the Chevron Service Station on East End Boulevard North.

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OJ Simpson’s parole hearing underway in Nevada

Posted/updated on: July 20, 2017 at 1:17 pm

ABC News(LOVELOCK, Nev.) — O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing is underway in Nevada, and if he’s granted parole on Thursday, he could be a free man later this year.

Simpson, 70, is appearing remotely via video conference from Lovelock Correctional Facility in Nevada, where he’s serving time for kidnapping and armed robbery.

Simpson’s fate will be determined and announced later Thursday.

The commissioners will consider items including: his conduct in prison, participation in prison programs, potential letter of support and an assessment of the risk of re-offending.

He needs four votes from commissioners to get paroled.

Four commissioners will deliberate in Carson City; if they are unanimous, that will become the final decision.

If the panel splits in any way, they will stop the voting and call in via phone two additional commissioners who will be on standby in Las Vegas so the voting can resume.

If the deliberation moves to six commissioners, four of them must grant parole for Simpson to be released.

If the parole board is split evenly, the board has established a policy to deny parole for six months, and a subsequent hearing will be held in January 2018.

If the former football star is granted parole on Thursday, his earliest possible release date would be Oct. 1.

If he is not granted parole, commissioners will decide the date of the next parole board meeting, which could be as far away as five years.

Simpson’s football career took him from the University of Southern California to the Buffalo Bills. Following his retirement, his celebrity status catapulted him to movie stardom and a cushy Brentwood, California, mansion.

More than 20 years ago, Simpson went on trial for the killing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. The two were found on June 12, 1994, stabbed to death at her Los Angeles home. On Oct. 3, 1995, at the end of a televised trial that captivated the nation, Simpson was acquitted of all criminal charges. He has always maintained his innocence.

A civil jury later ordered Simpson to pay $33.5 million in damages after finding him liable for wrongful death in the double murder.

Simpson is in prison following an arrest in 2007 during a botched robbery in Las Vegas, when he led a group of men into a hotel and casino to steal sports memorabilia at gunpoint. The former football star contended the memorabilia and other personal items belonged to him.

He was charged with a number of felony counts, including kidnapping and armed robbery. He was found guilty and sentenced to up to 33 years in prison.

His bid for a new trial in the case was rejected in 2013, but he was granted parole that same year on some of the charges, based on good behavior. He was not released from prison at that time, since his prison sentences were set to run consecutively. Simpson had to wait until this year to appear again before the parole board.

Simpson’s friend, Tom Scotto, told ABC News that Simpson is “hopeful.” Scotto said if Simpson is freed, he would want “to just keep a low profile, be with his kids, be with his family, play golf.”

Hours before the parole hearing, Ron Goldman’s father, Fred Goldman, told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, “What’s troubling to me is not only him, but the whole system gives second chances to violent felons or, for that matter, anyone in jail. … Ron doesn’t get a second chance.”

“Ron never gets to spend his life doing what he wanted to do,” Fred Goldman continued. “We’ll never get to share his life, and the killer will walk free and get to do whatever he wants.”

Fred Goldman said the parole board should take into account that Simpson was found liable for the killings in the 1997 civil trial.

“I think his whole history of violence, ignoring the law, no respect for the law, no remorse for virtually anything he’s ever done is an indication of who he is as a person,” Fred Goldman said. “I don’t think there’s any reason to think that he’s going to be a decent human being in society. I think he’s proved otherwise.”

Added Ron Goldman’s sister, Kim Goldman, “We lived our life with [Simpson] walking the streets and sharing the same roads that we did.”

“With him being locked up in Lovelock, it’s been a chance for us to kind of reclaim some control over our life and have some glimpse of sanity,” she said. “I’m preparing myself for that to be changing come October.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ahead of OJ Simpson parole hearing, Ron Goldman’s family said they may never see justice

Posted/updated on: July 20, 2017 at 7:27 am

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Hours before O.J. Simpson is to go before a Nevada parole board, Fred and Kim Goldman, the father and sister of Ron Goldman, spoke out and said they may never see justice for the killing of their family member.

“Ron never gets to spend his life doing what he wanted to do,” a tearful Fred Goldman told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos Thursday on Good Morning America. “We’ll never get to share his life, and the killer will walk free and get to do whatever he wants.”

Stephanopoulos asked the Goldmans if they think they may ever see justice.

We’ll “probably never see that … never get the justice,” Fred Goldman said.

Fred and Kim Goldman were present as Simpson stood trial for the 1994 killing of Ron Goldman and the football star’s wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

Simpson was acquitted of charges in both killings but in an unrelated case he is serving a 33-year sentence at Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nevada in connection with a kidnapping and armed robbery.

Simpson has so far served nine years and will have a parole hearing Thursday in which case, the former Heisman trophy winner could walk free.

Craig Arnett, a former guard at Lovelock Correctional, described Simpson as a model prisoner.

“He’s still an inmate, but he definitely wasn’t a problem child like some of the other ones were,” Arnett told ABC News Wednesday. “I think he has a strong chance of getting out. I think he hasn’t really been a problem in prison.”

If Simpson is granted parole, his earliest possible release date is Oct. 1.

Denial could mean at least another three years behind bars.

ABC will have live coverage of Simpson’s parole hearing Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/19/17

Posted/updated on: July 20, 2017 at 6:49 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
San Francisco 5, Cleveland 4
L.A. Dodgers 9, Chicago White Sox 1, 8 innings
L.A. Angels 7, Washington 0

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Minnesota 6, N.Y. Yankees 1
Seattle 4, Houston 1
Oakland 7, Tampa Bay 2
Baltimore 10, Texas 2
Boston 5, Toronto 1
Kansas City 4, Detroit 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Philadelphia 10, Miami 3
Chicago Cubs 8, Atlanta 2
Colorado 18, San Diego 4
Pittsburgh 3, Milwaukee 2, 10 innings
N.Y. Mets 7, St. Louis 3
Cincinnati 4, Arizona 3, 11 innings

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/18/17

Posted/updated on: July 19, 2017 at 8:06 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
L.A. Dodgers 1, Chicago White Sox 0
Washington 3, L.A. Angels 2
San Francisco 2, Cleveland 1, 10 innings

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 12, Texas 1
Houston 6, Seattle 2
Detroit 9, Kansas City 3
Boston 5, Toronto 4, 15 innings
N.Y. Yankees 6, Minnesota 3
Tampa Bay 4, Oakland 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 4, Milwaukee 3
Philadelphia 5, Miami 2
St. Louis 5, N.Y. Mets 0
Arizona 11, Cincinnati 2
Chicago Cubs 5, Atlanta 1
Colorado 9, San Diego 7

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ohio father of 4 bids farewell before deportation to Mexico

Posted/updated on: July 18, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer via Barcroft(WILLARD, Ohio) — An Ohio father of four bid an emotional farewell to his family Tuesday morning before returning to Mexico.

Jesus Lara Lopez, who formerly worked at Pepperidge Farm in Willard, Ohio, was seen off by family and about a dozen supporters at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Tuesday morning, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Photographs taken at the airport before his flight show Lopez embracing his children in a series of tearful goodbyes.

When Lopez checked in with immigration officials back in March, he was told he was being deported under “an illegal immigration crackdown,” his lawyer David Leopold told the press Tuesday.

Lopez has been in the country for 16 years, and his children were born in the U.S., the Plain Dealer reported.

Lopez was first ordered to be removed in 2011 by a federal immigration judge, Khaalid Walls, the Northeast regional communications director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told ABC News.

In 2014, the agency granted a stay of removal in his case, Walls said, and “in a further exercise of discretion, the agency has allowed him to remain free from custody to finalize his departure plans.”

“The agency will continue to closely monitor his case to ensure compliance,” he said.

Walls said ICE could not confirm to ABC News whether or not Lopez had complied with their request until after he is “successfully repatriated” for operational and security reasons, but would try to provide an update on his status later today.

ABC affiliate WEWS-TV in Cleveland reported that Lopez had never been charged with a crime during his 16 years in the U.S., has paid taxes and did not receive food stamps.

Walls noted in response that the lack of a criminal record does not necessarily exempt an illegal immigrant from facing deportation.

“As Secretary [John] Kelly and Acting Director [Thomas D.] Homan have stated repeatedly, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of national security and public safety threats; however, no class or category of alien in the United States is exempt from arrest or removal,” he told ABC News.

Leopold told WEWS-TV that his client had a valid work permit. The New York Times reported in June that Lopez “[worked] the graveyard shift packing Milano cookies and Goldfish crackers” while at Pepperidge Farm.

ABC News reached out to Pepperidge Farm for a comment about Lopez’s work permit and the company said he was hired by a third-party company, Spherion, which manages packaging workers at the facility. Spherion confirmed to ABC News that Lopez did have a valid work permit and they hired him in October of 2016.

“These are the darkest times I’ve ever seen as an attorney. When the best and the brightest that we have to offer are taken from their homes and sent away,” Leopold told reporters. “The law is so broken.”

America’s Voice, an immigration rights advocacy group, posted a statement on its website criticizing the deportation of Lopez from John Sandweg, former Acting Director of ICE and former Acting General Counsel of the Department of Homeland Security.

“Cases like this are an incredible waste of ICE resources that only make it harder for the agency to identify and remove dangerous criminals,” Sandweg wrote. He added that he believes enforcement resources should be focused on finding criminals and public safety threats instead.

Sandweg has been a vocal critic of President Trump’s broad promise of reducing illegal immigration to the U.S. a central part of his 2016 campaign.

The U.S. had already been focused on enforcing immigration rules under former President Barack Obama, who oversaw the removal of more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, earning him the nickname “Deporter in Chief.”

“The [Trump] Administration’s focus on the low-hanging fruit of the enforcement system only allows the bad guys to remain at large, weakening our public safety,” Sandweg added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

POLL: Distrust in Trump deepens North Korea concerns

Posted/updated on: July 18, 2017 at 9:02 am

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Public concern about North Korea is widespread — alongside skepticism of President Donald Trump’s ability to handle the risks.

Eighty-one percent of Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll see North Korea as a threat to the United States, including 66 percent who see it as a “serious” threat, up 12 points from 2005. Nearly three-quarters are concerned about the possibility of a full-scale war, with half of them “very” concerned.

As part of those worries, just 36 percent express trust in Trump’s ability to handle the situation; 63 percent distrust him, with a large portion, 40 percent, trusting him “not at all.” Among those who distrust Trump to handle the situation, worry about a full-scale war soars to 83 percent.

Distrust in Trump on the issue is highly partisan, ranging from 87 percent among Democrats to 19 percent of Republicans in this survey, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates. Tipping the balance, it’s 66 percent among independents. And Democrats are most apt to fear a full-scale war — 86 percent, vs. 68 percent of Republicans and independents alike.

Generational differences emerge: Among adults age 40 and older, 87 percent see North Korea as a threat to the United States, and 77 percent see it as a serious threat. Comparable numbers are lower by 17 and 28 points, respectively, among younger adults, who may be less in touch with the nuclear threat of years past. Younger adults also are less apt to trust Trump to deal with the situation — just 29 percent do, vs. 41 percent of those age 40-plus.

There also are large gender gaps on the issue. Women are much less likely than men to trust Trump to handle the situation, 29 to 44 percent. Conversely, women are much more likely to see North Korea as a serious threat, 73 to 59 percent; to be concerned about the risk of full-scale war, 83 vs. 64 percent; and to be very concerned about it, 51 vs. 27 percent. (Note, women typically are more willing than men to express concern in surveys.)

Methodology

This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone July 10-13, 2017, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 35-23-35 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, New York, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/17/17

Posted/updated on: July 18, 2017 at 5:36 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Cleveland 5, San Francisco 3

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Baltimore 3, Texas 1
Toronto 4, Boston 3
Minnesota 4, N.Y. Yankees 2
Seattle 9, Houston 7, 10 Innings
Detroit 10, Kansas City 2
Tampa Bay 3, Oakland 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Washington 6, Cincinnati 1
Pittsburgh 4, Milwaukee 2
St. Louis 6, N.Y. Mets 3
Miami 6, Philadelphia 5, 10 Innings
Chicago Cubs 4, Atlanta 3
Colorado 9, San Diego 6

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Spicer repeats debunked line about reason for Trump Jr. Russia meeting

Posted/updated on: July 17, 2017 at 5:37 pm

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — White House press secretary Sean Spicer held an off-camera briefing for the first time in weeks, in which he appeared to mischaracterize the motivation for Donald Trump Jr.’s controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign.

Since news of that June 9, 2016, meeting broke last week, Donald Trump Jr. has both released multiple statements about the meeting and published the emails that showed the planning that went into the meeting. In the emails, and as repeated in his statements, it is clear that the reason Trump Jr. went to the meeting — along with then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and then-campaign adviser Jared Kushner — was in the hopes of obtaining damaging information about his father’s then-opponent Hillary Clinton.

Spicer’s statement on Monday, however, did not reflect that information.

“There was nothing as far as we know that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for discussion about adoption and the Magnitsky Act,” Spicer said, “but I would refer you back to counsel on that one.”

Unanswered questions about Russian lawyer’s meeting with Donald Trump Jr.

In the first statement that Donald Trump Jr. released about the meeting on July 8, he described it as a “short introductory meeting … about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago.” He added more details in a subsequent statement released on July 9, however, noting that he was asked to have the meeting “with an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign.” The statement goes on to describe how the Russian lawyer “changed subjects” and her “true agenda” was to talk about adoption policy.

Monday marked Spicer’s return to the podium for the first time since June 26. The press secretary ceded the task to principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the interim.

Asked about the rumors surrounding his job on June 20, Spicer responded, “I’m right here.”

“It’s no secret we’ve had a couple vacancies, including our communications director is gone for a while,” Spicer added. “We’ve been seeking input from individuals as far as ideas that they have. We’ve been meeting with potential people that may be of service to this administration. I don’t think that should come as any surprise. But we’re always looking for ways to do a better job of articulating the president’s message and his agenda, and we’ll continue to have those discussions internally.”

Monday’s briefing was again held off camera, continuing a trend that has been carried out throughout the month of July. The last on-camera briefing was held on June 29.

Sanders was asked about the choice to limit the public’s viewing of the press conference last week.

“We’re always looking at different approaches and different ways to communicate the president’s message and talk about the agenda,” she said. “This is one of the many ways we choose to do that.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Public to Trump: Lay off Twitter (POLL)

Posted/updated on: July 17, 2017 at 8:29 am

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Americans are highly disapproving of President Donald Trump in personal terms, with his tweeting habit a major irritant: Seventy percent say he’s acted in an unpresidential manner since taking office, 68 percent don’t see him as a positive role model and 67 percent disapprove of his use of Twitter.

Fifty-seven percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll also say that the more they hear about Trump the less they like him, vs. 29 percent who like him more. And 56 percent say unpresidential conduct by Trump is “damaging to the presidency overall.”

Trump’s behavior comes in for some criticism even in his own camp. Nearly four in 10 Republicans, 38 percent, say his conduct has been unpresidential rather than “fitting and proper” for a president. So do 48 percent of evangelical white Protestants and 55 percent of non-college-educated white men, two core Trump support groups.

Specific to Twitter, word associations with Trump’s tweets are broadly negative in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates. Sixty-eight percent find them “inappropriate,” 65 percent “insulting,” 52 percent even “dangerous.” Fewer apply more positive descriptions: “interesting,” 41 percent; “effective,” 36 percent; or “refreshing,” 21 percent.

Such views are an important element of Trump’s poor job performance ratings. As reported Sunday, just 36 percent of Americans approve of his work in office overall, a record low at the six-month mark, and two-thirds distrust him to represent the United States in negotiations with other world leaders.

There are sharp differences among groups in response to Trump’s tweets, even beyond typical partisan and ideological divisions. While 58 percent of men call them inappropriate, that jumps to 78 percent among women. Conversely, just 29 percent of women see his tweets as interesting, vs. 54 percent of men. Forty-six percent of whites see them as dangerous, rising to 65 percent of nonwhites. Even among Republicans, well fewer than half, 41 percent, say they’re refreshing.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/16/17

Posted/updated on: July 17, 2017 at 8:30 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Chicago Cubs 8, Baltimore 0

AMERICAN LEAGUE
N.Y. Yankees 3, Boston 0, first game
Boston 3, N.Y. Yankees 0, second game
Detroit 6, Toronto 5, 11 Innings
Seattle 7, Chicago White Sox 6, 10 Innings
Houston 5, Minnesota 3
Kansas City 4, Texas 3
L.A. Angels 4, Tampa Bay 3
Oakland 7, Cleveland 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Washington 14, Cincinnati 4
Colorado 13, N.Y. Mets 4
L.A. Dodgers 3, Miami 2
Atlanta 7, Arizona 1
Pittsburgh 4, St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 5, Milwaukee 2
San Diego 7, San Francisco 1

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Baby goes crazy for her first ice cream cone in adorable viral video

Posted/updated on: July 17, 2017 at 12:29 am

ABCNews.com(WEST POINT, Ala.) — One baby is putting the “i” in ice cream because she loves the cold stuff.

Ashley Cavanaugh’s youngest daughter, 9-month-old Emma, was treated to her very first ice cream cone last month thanks to the baby’s great-grandmother, who asked ABC News not to identify her.

It all started when Cavanaugh, 27, and her maternal grandmother took a trip to an ice cream store in West Point, Alabama.

“At first she wasn’t sure about it … and then she attacked it,” the mother of three told ABC News of baby Emma.

In a hilarious video now gone viral on Facebook with more than 22,000 views, Emma is seen shoving her face right into the ice cream.

“All my girls have enjoyed ice cream but she’s the only one that’s reacted like that,” the mom added.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

At least seven dead in Arizona flash flooding

Posted/updated on: July 16, 2017 at 4:01 pm

iStock/Thinkstock(PAYSON, Ariz.) — A search-and-rescue operation is underway after seven people, including two children, died and several went missing in a flash flooding along the Verde River in Arizona on Saturday, according to the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

A large group was at the river swimming Saturday afternoon when the flash flood came from above them, police said. Three people, ranging from a 3-year-old to 60-year-old, are missing. Four people were rescued and airlifted to a local hospital, police said.

The news comes on the heels of a weather forecast by ABC News’ meteorologists predicting “monsoonal-related thunderstorms” throughout the weekend in the Southwest.

Emergency workers received a 911 call regarding a search-and-rescue operation around the Cold Springs Swimming Hole, located in the town of Payson, Arizona, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Payson “experienced heavy rain,” and search-and-rescue operations were initiated to find individuals who were reported missing, the sheriff’s office said. Search operations remain underway for other people who went missing during the flood, the sheriff’s office said.

Arizona is not out of the woods by any means, regarding concerns over extreme weather conditions. A flash flood watch will be in effect for the southeast part of the state from Sunday afternoon through Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/15/17

Posted/updated on: July 16, 2017 at 12:13 pm

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Chicago Cubs 10, Baltimore 3
 
AMERICAN LEAGUE

N.Y. Yankees 4, Boston 1
Detroit 11, Toronto 1
Seattle 4, Chicago White Sox 3
Minnesota 4, Houston 2
Texas 1, Kansas City 0
Oakland 5, Cleveland 3
Tampa Bay 6, L.A. Angels 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE
St. Louis 4, Pittsburgh 0
N.Y. Mets 9, Colorado 3
Milwaukee 3, Philadelphia 2
Washington 10, Cincinnati 7
Atlanta 8, Arizona 5
L.A. Dodgers 7, Miami 1
San Diego 5, San Francisco 3

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Seattle 90, Atlanta 84

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Six months in, latest poll reveals a record low for Trump

Posted/updated on: July 16, 2017 at 12:13 pm

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Americans have given President Trump the lowest six-month approval rating of any president in polls dating back 70 years, punctuated by questions about his competence on the world stage, his effectiveness, the Republican health care plan and Russia’s role in the 2016 election.

Just 36 percent of Americans polled in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of Trump’s job performance, down 6 points from his 100-day mark, itself a low. The previous president closest to this level at or near six months was Gerald Ford, at 39 percent, in February 1975.

See the PDF with full results here.

Sixty-three percent in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates, say it was inappropriate for Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign manager to have met with a Russian lawyer during the campaign. Six in 10 also think Russia tried to influence the campaign, and among those who say so, 67 percent think Trump aides helped, similar to results in April.

Yet the Russia controversy is just one on the list of Trump’s troubles. Just 38 percent say he’s making significant progress toward his goals; 55 percent think not. With no apparent help from the G-20 summit, two-thirds don’t trust him to negotiate with other world leaders — or with Russian President Vladimir Putin specifically — on America’s behalf. And about half say the country’s world leadership has grown weaker under Trump; just 27 percent say it’s gotten stronger.

On his party’s signature campaign issue — health care — Americans, by a 2-1 margin, prefer Obamacare over the Republican plan to replace it, 50-24 percent. (Another quarter either want something else entirely, 17 percent, or are undecided, 9 percent.) “Strong” preference for the existing law surpasses strong preference for the Republican plan by 20 percentage points. Relevant to proposed cuts in the growth of Medicaid, the public, by a broad 63-27 percent, says it’s more important to provide health care coverage for low-income Americans than to cut taxes.

Overview

Trump also suffers from weak personal ratings, a topic to be covered in a further report Monday morning. But two factors temper the situation for the president to some degree: weakness in his Democratic opposition and greater strength on the economy.

On the first of these, only 37 percent of Americans say the Democratic Party “stands for something,” while 52 percent say it just stands against Trump. The perceived lack of an affirmative agenda weakens the Democrats’ efforts to capitalize on Trump’s failings.

On the second, Trump’s overall job approval rating (36-58 percent, approve-disapprove) is surpassed by his rating for handling the economy, 43-41 percent, roughly an even split. An unusually large 16 percent aren’t ready to rate his economic performance; it was only 3 percent for President Barack Obama at six months.

Nonetheless, Trump’s position is a difficult one. After six months in office, his job approval rating is 4 points lower than Obama’s career low, which came in his sixth year. And 48 percent “strongly” disapprove of Trump’s job performance, again slightly surpassing the strongest disapproval of Obama’s career, in his fifth year. (Strong disapproval of Trump on the economy, though, is far lower at 29 percent vs. a high of 50 percent in Obama’s case.)

From another perspective, Trump’s 58 percent disapproval is 7 points higher than the next-highest disapproval rating at six months, President Bill Clinton’s in 1993.

Asked to make their own comparison, half of Americans say Trump is doing a worse job than most previous presidents vs. 23 percent who say he’s doing better, including 38 percent “much” worse vs. 17 percent “much” better. The rest, 24 percent, say he’s performing about the same as his predecessors in general.

Results are similar when it comes to the world stage: Americans by 48-27 percent say the United States has become weaker rather than stronger on the world stage under Trump, again with a substantial share, 23 percent, saying this has remained about the same.

Russia

Results on Russian interference show how attitudes about political issues can harden. Even though U.S. intelligence agencies have reported “with high confidence” that Russia sought to influence the 2016 election, four in 10 Americans either don’t think it happened (31 percent) or are unsure (9 percent), and recent disclosures haven’t changed that.

This leaves six in 10 overall who do think the Russians tried to influence the election; in this group, 72 percent think Trump benefited and, as noted, 67 percent think members of his campaign intentionally helped those efforts.

The number of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who think that the Russians sought to influence the election, and that the Trump team intentionally helped them, has fallen from 18 percent in April to 9 percent now, indicating even stiffer GOP resistance to the idea. Among leaned Democrats, it’s gone from 60 to 64 percent, not a significant shift.

As a combined total, the number of Americans who both think that the Russians tried to influence the campaign, and that Trump aides helped, is 41 percent — very similar to the 40 percent who don’t think Russia was involved or are unsure about it.

That said, two other overall results are less equivocal. Americans by 52-37 percent think Trump is trying to interfere with investigations of possible Russian influence, rather than cooperating. (It was 56-34 percent in early June, after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.) And by 63-26 percent the public says it was inappropriate for Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr.; son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and campaign manager, Paul Manafort, to meet last June with a Russian lawyer who was said to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Groups

Differences among groups mark the partisan nature of these times: At the most extreme, Trump ranges from a 90 percent approval rating among conservative Republicans to 5 percent among liberal Democrats. And leaving aside ideology, the gap is nearly as wide by partisanship alone — 82 percent approval for Trump among Republicans vs. 11 percent among Democrats. The deciding vote, as ever, is cast by independents, and just 32 percent approve.

Results are telling among other groups as well. Trump’s approval rating is 12 points higher among men than women, 42 percent vs. 30 percent; just 27 percent among 18- to 29-year-olds vs. 42 percent among seniors; and 29 percent in urban areas vs. 40 percent in the suburbs and 44 percent in rural areas.

Sixty-one percent of evangelical white Protestants approve of Trump’s performance, as do 55 percent of white men who don’t have a college degree — two mainstays of his election coalition. His support drops by 20 points among non-evangelical white Protestants vs. evangelicals, and by 24 points among college-educated white women vs. white men who lack a degree. Further, while 45 percent of whites overall approve of his work, that drops to 19 percent of Hispanics and 15 percent of blacks.

While generally less extreme, several of these are reversed in views of the Democratic Party.  A quarter of Democrats (27 percent) say their own party “just stands against Trump”; so do 55 percent of independents, soaring to 82 percent of Republicans. Men are 15 points more likely than women to hold this opinion, and 58 percent of whites see the Democrats as simply anti-Trump, compared with 31 percent of blacks, long among the most loyal Democratic groups.

One other result is telling in a different way: Senior citizens are 11 points more likely than young adults to think Russia tried to influence the election, 66 percent vs. 55 percent. Seniors, of course, will have the sharpest recollection of the Cold War, which is supposed to be long over.

Methodology

This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone July 10-13 in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect. Partisan divisions are 35-23-35 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, New York, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Russian lawyer obtained Hill hearing seat from former Florida Trump campaign chair’s husband

Posted/updated on: July 16, 2017 at 3:41 am

YURY MARTYANOV/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The husband of the former Florida chair of the Trump campaign obtained a front-row seat to a June 2016 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing for Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney who had met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower eight days prior.

Lanny Wiles, the husband of former Florida campaign chair Susie Wiles, saved the prominent seat for Veselnitskaya at the June 14 hearing on “U.S. Policy Toward Putin’s Russia,” ABC News has confirmed.

Photos and video of Veselnitskaya at the hearing show her seated directly behind Michael McFaul, former United States ambassador to Russia from 2012-2014.

Veselnitskaya’s work and connections have come under scrutiny after it was revealed last weekend that the Russian lawyer met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower in June 2016. The meeting was allegedly pitched by Veselnitskaya as an opportunity for her to share damning information about Trump’s election rival, Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. said that Veselnitskaya instead used the meeting to lobby in favor of overturning the Magnitsky Act, a 2012 bill that blocks certain Russian officials’ entrance to the U.S. and their use of the U.S. banking system.

Lanny Wiles told ABC News he has “absolute, zero connection” to any relations the Russian lawyer may have had to the Trump campaign.

Susie Wiles, who was working for the Trump campaign at the time, told ABC News she was not aware of who her husband reserved seats for in the Congressional hearing, and said she has no knowledge of Veselnitskaya’s contact with the Trump campaign.

“It’s an unfortunate coincidence that I was helping and supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy while this meeting was going on,” she said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Trump campaign paid Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer weeks before Russian meeting was revealed

Posted/updated on: July 16, 2017 at 3:41 am

John Moore/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Almost two weeks before Donald Trump Jr. published screengrabs of purported emails indicating that he arranged to meet with a Russian lawyer, President Trump’s re-election campaign paid $50,000 in legal fees to the attorney now representing the president’s son amid ongoing Russia probes.

The payment was revealed in a Q2 FEC report filed on Saturday by the Trump campaign. On June 27, criminal defense attorney Alan Futerfas was paid by the campaign for “legal consulting.” On July 10, Futerfas was hired to represent Trump.

However, the FEC filing doesn’t indicate that the June 27 disbursement of funds to Futerfas was made for the purpose of representing Trump.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted four pages from what he said is an email chain with music producer Rob Goldstone. The messages appear to show Trump being offered damning information about Hillary Clinton in the heat of the 2016 presidential race. In response, Trump wrote, “I love it.”

Futerfas is known for representing individuals and companies in “traditional and white collar cases, trials and appeals, SEC investigations and regulatory matters,” according to his firm’s website. Throughout his career Futerfas has represented individuals accused of involvement in organized crime.

In a statement when the news broke of Trump’s meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, Futerfas said that it was “much ado about nothing.”

“The bottom line is that Don, Jr. did nothing wrong,” Futerfas said in a statement this week.

Trump has not been accused of any legal wrongdoing. On Tuesday he expressed regret for how he handled the June 2016 meeting, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interview that he “probably would have done things a little differently.”

According to the FEC report, the Trump campaign also paid the Trump Corporation almost $90,000 for “legal consulting.” The Trump campaign started the quarter with over $8 million, and spent $4.3 million.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Scoreboard roundup — 7/14/17

Posted/updated on: July 15, 2017 at 8:48 am

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE
Chicago Cubs 9, Baltimore 8

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Boston 5, N.Y. Yankees 4
Toronto 7, Detroit 2
Seattle 4, Chicago White Sox 2
Houston 10, Minnesota 5
Texas 5, Kansas City 3
Oakland 5, Cleveland 0
Tampa Bay 2, L.A. Angels 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 5, St. Louis 2
N.Y. Mets 14, Colorado 2
Washington 5, Cincinnati 0
L.A. Dodgers 6, Miami 4
Atlanta 4, Arizona 3
Milwaukee 9, Philadelphia 6
San Francisco 5, San Diego 4

WOMEN’S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Washington 72, Indiana 58
Chicago 78, N.Y. Liberty 68
Minnesota 88, Phoenix 71

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

9-year-old born without legs finds success on wrestling team

Posted/updated on: July 15, 2017 at 3:26 am

ABC News(LONG BEACH, N.Y.) — Whether it’s in the classroom, on the sports field or in the ocean, Isaiah Bird is making waves.

Isaiah, who was born without legs, plays football, soccer, runs track, swims, surfs and skateboards. But the wrestling mat is where the 9-year-old from Long Beach, New York, has become the one to beat. In his fifth year on the wrestling team, Isaiah went 27-12.

“I just keep going on,” he said. “[I say:] ‘I can do this. There’s no excuses. I can do this.’ And I just do it. And I keep practicing and practicing. If I, one day I get pinned. … I go back to practicing and practicing and I get better and better and better.”

The rising fifth-grader has a supportive cheering section behind him made up of his mother, Bernadette Hopton; his friends and teammates; and his coach, Miguel Rodriguez. Isaiah said Rodriguez helped him a lot, giving him the fight to keep pushing.

“He says, ‘No matter what, you still can do all these things the other kids can do.’ And he says, ‘There’s no excuses. No matter what, you keep doing it. No matter what. Just do your thing. Have fun. That’s the most important thing,'” Isaiah said.

Rodriguez took Isaiah under his wing when the 9-year-old was in kindergarten. Since then, Rodriguez has functioned as both Isaiah’s coach and teacher assistant, accompanying him to every class and after-school.

Rodriguez said he got emails, phone calls and videos daily from adults and children around the U.S. saying that they’d been inspired after watching videos of Isaiah wrestling.

“He just gets it done. I think we complain a lot about everything in life. And we don’t know how easy we have it. Life is not always fair, but he doesn’t complain about it,” Rodriguez said.

He said that Isaiah was “one of the biggest gifts” in his life.

“I hope for him to follow his dreams. I hope for him to never change his personality and the way he is because he has an amazing, amazing personality. … He has no idea what changes he’s making in other people,” Rodriguez said. “Hopefully one day he can be a motivational speaker. Maybe he can, you know, travel the world and just show people that, you know what, he did it and that they can do it, too.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Student appears to topple art sculptures while taking a selfie at LA museum

Posted/updated on: July 15, 2017 at 3:26 am

The 14th Factory(LOS ANGELES) — Video surveillance footage from a Los Angeles pop-up museum features a selfie attempt gone horribly wrong, ending in what’s said to be a loss of sculptures valued at $200,000.

The incident took place two weeks ago inside an art installation room at The 14th Factory art exhibition in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, a museum spokeswoman told ABC News.

In the video a woman can be seen trying to take a photo of herself when she appears to lose her balance and knocks into an art display, causing a domino effect that takes down 11 identical display pillars, each with a sculpture on top. Three of the sculptures were permanently destroyed, totaling $200,000 in damages, according to the museum.

According to the spokeswoman for The 14th Factory, the woman seen on the video and apparently responsible for sending the art tumbling was a student. The nonprofit is calling the incident an accident.

The sculptures in the space were made of brass, nylon, gold plate, marble, wood, stone and metal.

The spokeswoman said the student, whose name was not released, was apologetic and offered the museum a donation. The museum would not disclose whether or not they accepted the donation or the amount.

Although the sculptures were not insured, The 14th Factory said it will not be suing the student to recover damages. It is believed that the video was leaked by a staff member at the exhibition, the spokeswoman added.

The exhibit features works by artists Simon Birch, Gloria Yu, Gabriel Chan and Jacob Blitzer.

All four artists have not yet responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

If visitors want to see this installation and all others at The 14th Factory, they can reserve their entry on the exhibit website.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Smith County Murder Trial Delayed

Posted/updated on: June 30, 2017 at 3:58 pm

TYLER – The capital murder trial of a Smith County man is being delayed. State District Judge Jack Skeen has granted the motion to delay the proceedings for 24 year old Gustavo Zavala-Garcia. He has been charged with the death of 10-year-old Kayla Gomez-Orozco. She was abducted from a Bullard church last November. Her body was found four days later in a well on the suspect’s property. Both the prosecution and defense had requested the delay because of the large amounts of evidence and DNA testing results that have not been received and will be presented during the trial. No new date for the trial has been set.

Marshall Assault Suspect Surrenders

Posted/updated on: June 28, 2017 at 2:40 pm

MARSHALL – Marshall police have an assault suspect in custody after putting out the word Tuesday that they were looking for him. Police say 23-year-old Dillon Burr of Marshall surrendered Wednesday at approximately 11:15 a.m. and was booked into the Harrison County Jail. An arrest warrant had been issued for Burr, charged with injury to the disabled, which is a felony. He was also wanted for a parole violation warrant out of Harrison County. Shortly before 12:30 on Sunday morning, Burr is said to have repeatedly hit a man and knocked him to the ground at the Chevron Service Station on East End Boulevard North.

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