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tv   Eyewitness News  ABC  August 26, 2015 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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a disgruntled lettered former worker walking up to a news crew killing the photographer and reporter. we are learning more about the two brutally killed doing their job. they were moments into their last report of the morning when the gunman struck on live tv firing several shots and coldly taking the lives of 24-year-old reporter alison parker and photographer adam ward. they never saw him coming. >> it breaks your heart when you think of the families and so many friends and coworkers impacted by what happened today. >> reporter: the gunman, identified as vester flanagan fled by car but was spotted by police. flanagan, he used the name bryce williams on tv crashed the car into a highway median suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. he died at the hospital about 1:30 this afternoon. before his death, 41-year-old flanagan stun going rly --
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stunningly posted horrific video of the attack which we will not show. he sent a 23 page document to abc news saying the charleston church massacre had stoked his rage and bullying he faced because he was a gay black man. parker and ward were natives of the roanoke area and worked together about a year. they were young and in rips with coworkers, only deepening a tragedy that has shaken their newsroom. >> you can hear people behind us in the newsroom crying. it's just really hard to -- it's hard to comprehend. >> during the shootings, ward's camera fell on its side but still captured this haunting image of the shooter gun in hand. the woman being interviewed by alison, vicky gardner was shot during the incident but is out of surgery and in stable condition. abc news has talked to robert avon, his former roommate from 2006 to 12:00.
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he texted with flanagan minutes after the shooting. rob says flanagan, known to say odd things admitted to shooting two people and says flanagan was on the phone with him as he was being chased by police. during the final talk, he thanked rob for being a good friend, said he had to go and hung up the phone. >> thanks, rob. he was 41 years old, held reporting and anchoring jocks at a number of tv stations, most for only a few years. letter today he reported his own story using facebook and twitter to show the world his vengeful rage. tim fleischer is here with more on what set him off. tim? >> reporter: that's what is so hard for many to understand, the suspect was a former reporter. he went by bryce williams as we told you. he worked at the same tv station as the victims. his former general manager describes him as an unhappy and angry man who was fired. he admits he was a human powder keg. in the end he took his own life.
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after crashing his car on the side of a virginia highway, troopers rushed vester lee flanagan that they saw sitting inside wounded. >> she saw flanagan suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. he was flown from the scene to a nova fairfax hospital where he died. >> reporter: the 41-year-old flanagan, television station officials reveal was a former reporter who had a reputation of being difficult to work with. >> he won't be stingy with the cds. he will share with his family. vester flanagan -- >> we had to separate him from the company and we did understand that i was living in the area. occasionally he would run into people from our company. >> reporter: the station manager also said flanagan filed a complaint with the eeoc alleging that other employees made racial comments to him.
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it was dismissed. abc received a fax listed grievances. he talked about how he was man. >> it goes to show where the gentleman's mind was the night before or what was taking place there that there was forethought given as to the chain of events that would happen. >> reporter: in the material send to abc, flanagan said the recent killings at a church triggered the carnage. what sent me over the top he writes was the church shooting and my hallow point bullets have the victims' initials on them. he says the church shooting was the tipping point. i have been a human powder keg waiting to go boom. >> this gentleman was disturbed in some way of the way things transpired. at some point in his life it would appear things were spiraling out of control. >> reporter: other coworkers described him as a loner that did not socialize with other reporters. one described him as off kilter
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and that he thought news anchoring was about acting. diana? >> okay. thanks, tim. with more on the gunman, pierre thomas joins us live from washington. 23 pages. from the bits and pieces that we have seen, even though they are rantings, anger, it seems like he was stringing sentences together, not like some rantings that you get from people. >> i have been pouring through the document. i would describe this as a man of simmering anger. he has a list of grievances. he goes through them one by one. he does talk about the charleston church shooting tipped him off. discrimination. he said he was sexually harassed and being mistreated because he was a gay black man. are building up. although people seemed to notice some things about him, the question is, did anyone see anything that would show possible. >> did he talk about planning an attack?
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did he talk about what he wanted to do to take his revenge? >> two things i should note. in the fax that we got which came in roughly at 8:26 a.m., a couple of hours after the deadly shooting, he didn't really give out details in that document as to what he was planning specifically. but at 10:00 a.m. roughly he called abc news in new york and he calmly told one of our staffers that he had just shot two people. >> and i know our staffers took pierre. >> of course. abc news, once we got the fax, we began to reach out to authorities to get that information to them so they would have it because we wanted to be as helpful as we could have be. >> have we learned any more information about the gun? >> wire getting more information about the weapon. >> it is a pistol.
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>> we will see you on world news. we are learning more about the victims, a reporter and photographer team at the beginning of their careers. 24-year-old reporter alison parker was hired full time at wdbj about a year ago. she told viewers journalism wasn't her first interest. >> when i was younger i wanted to be a doctor or pharmacist but as a journalist i get to cover those types of fields so it's close enough. >> parker ended up finding love at wdbj. anchorman chris hurst said she just moved in together and wanted to get married. her father said alison was our bright shining light and cruelly extinguished by another crazy person with a gun. she excelled at everything she did. our family can only take solace in the fact that although her life was brief she was happy with it. >> photographer adam ward found love at the station.
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he worked at wdbj for several years. he was engaged to a morning show producer who watched the shooting unfold live from the control room. his fiancee was marking her last day at the station before moving to a new job at a tv station in charlotte. ward was supposed to have followed her there. also injured in the shooting was the woman that parker was interviewing at the time, vicky gardner. she is the director of smith mountain lake regional chamber of commerce. she is in stable condition. she was excited to promote the lake's 50th anniversary on the news this morning. our coverage continues at abc 7 ny. you will find evening we know about the victims and gunmen and celebrities and politicians expressing condolences and support. turning to other news of the evening, the missing sunken vessel in the sandy hook channel has been found.
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the discovery of he will geoff is raising more questions -- el jef and where is the captain. >> reporter: we understand that it left out of this marina yesterday afternoon and according to several fishermen that usually are in this dock, the captain would go out by himself. they say that is not something that most people would do down here. they say that is ill advised. but at this hour, the captain of that boat is still missing. the search in the waters off sandy hook were called off at midday because divers were getting caught in heave boat line. they located the sunken fishing boat. there was nothing on the whereabouts of the boat's missing captain, identified as thomas anderson. this is a 40-foot photo of the missing boat. fellow fisherman say it was not in great condition. >> it was double plated once
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because the bottom was so bad. that was three, four years ago. it wasn't good steel it was replated with. >> reporter: the first warning of a capsized boat came in 24 hours ago. reports say it disappeared beneath the surface of the water in a matter of minutes. the captain may not have had time to handle an emergency. colleagues are left wondering what -- pondering what went wrong. >> you have to count your blessings. you don't realize how dangerous the city can be. >> reporter: captain anderson had been in the dock for three years and spent most of his life in queens. as time goes by, hopes of locating the captain become dim. >> it's a shame it happened. he was a great guy. i was sick when i heard about it. >> reporter: depending on the conditions on the water tomorrow, the search for the
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missing captain and the boat will continue. that is the latest live from belford, new jersey, anthony johnson, channel 7 eyewitness news. >> anthony, thank you. a man from new jersey now charged with the murder of his wife after a police stand off at their home. 56-year-old haskell is charged with murder. police say he killed his wife yesterday. police say he left a note on the door warning that he was armed and would harm anyone who tried to come in. he was taken into custody with what police described as serious self-inflicted injuries. a man accused of stabbing his father in manhattan jumps out of the window and dies after the stabbing. >> the 27-year-old suspect locked himself in the apartment on the upper east side. police were apparently negotiating with him when he jumped and landed on the neighboring building. the father was slashed on his face and head but is expected to be okay.
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questions tonight about how a woman managed to get pepper spray on a plane. passengers got off a flight from jamaica at j.f.k. when a fight broke out. one person was slashed and others were sprayed. darla miles has more on what started the ruckus. darla? >> reporter: diana, this was a 3 hour 8 minute flight from jamaica. as it pulled into terminal 8, things got out of control. eyewitness news obtained a photo of the jet. as it pulled into the gate around 8:45 this morning, 61- year-old jean ballantyne in a window seat in row 21 tried to climb out of that row over two other passengers. they say a 52-year-old woman in the middle seat pushed ballentine off her and ballantyne punched the woman. at this point another person passenger. a man tried to break it up but
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ballentine slashed him in the right elbow with an eyebrow razor. the woman in the middle seat, at this point she started to spray pepper spray and the pilot was forced to open the door. then you had six people treated spray. jetblue would only say that a customer disagreement occurred shortly after flight 960 international airport from kingston, jamaica. law enforcement were called and met the air crafted. at this point, jean ballantyne is charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon. she was arrested by port authority police. she was issued a desk appearance. there are big questions because the pepper spray, being in possession of tear gas, police are trying to figure out how she was able to bring that on a flight from jamaica. reporting live, darla miles, channel 7 eyewitness news. >> thank you, darla.
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he tried to stop red light cameras from snapping photos of drivers but his bragging about it got him arrested. why he is so proud of what he did. >> plus, the to bees that help -- fobs that help cars start without a key, they are the
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big size of relief on wall street. stocks staged a remarkable comeback today. they surged most of the day. by the close the dow posted the third biggest one day gain ever. it comes after a costly six day losing streak sparked by concerns over china's wave verge economy. the dow closed at 16,285. the nasdaq jumped 191 points and the s&p 500 rose 72 points. and turning to the race for president, tonight we are hearing from univision news anchor jose rom mass who got in
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a heated exchange with donald trump. the billionaire politician took fusion. ramos repeatedly tried to interrupt the press conference immigration. after an exchange ramos was conference. >> he has to explain how he wants to deport 11 million people. how will he do that? put people in stadiums. we have to denounce that he wants to deny citizenship to children born here. >> ramos was later allowed to return. on "eyewitness news at 6:00" political reporter dave evans with what impact this could have on the trump campaign. >> hillary clinton taking a dig at trump. clinton visiting a community college in iowa saying that voters shouldn't be distracted by the republican front-runner. she said other candidates from the party are just donald trump
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without the hair. clinton acknowledged immigration saying that agricultural nationwide -- agricultural nationwide is heavily dependent on immigrants. women in the u.s. armed services, this time in the navy. the first four female sailors celebrity for submarine school have begun training in connecticut. the base has been reconfigured for their privacy but the first coed group is not being received differently than any other classes. last week two female soldiers completed the army ranger training program. >> love it. >> go women. good for them. >> girl power, i guess. >> that's right. >> you know where we stand. >> that's right. nice to join you. thank you for allowing. >> he is so smart. that's why we love him. >> that's how i keep the seat. another gorgeous day out there. stellar. >> it's stunning. a great wrap up to the month.
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it will be nice into the weekend and maybe add summer humidity into the fold. we look to the north with the deep blue sky and contrast around. then occasionally dramatic shadows over the area. right now we are looking at a nice afternoon and evening. temperatures are going to be in the 70s and lower 80s right now. and we will have the humidity stay low into the early evening hours. 82 the temperature. humidity 83. 33% the key number. northwest wind. high 85. four above average. the record, it can still get hot, 103 in 1948. there are the sunrise and sunset times. last year near 90. letter haze eye, hot and humid day. 68 in monticello. 82 in central park. the real cool air just on the southern fringe of it, running about 10 below average upstate. we are able to get close to
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normal, out of the reach of the coolest air. we have a nice breeze out of the northwest. occasionally gusting over 20. the concern for brushfires the next couple of days. we have been dry this august. dew points are pleasant to invigorating. mineral clear lots of sun through tomorrow. more patchy clouds during the afternoon. temperatures in the low to middle 80s. you will notice a few more fair- weather clouds tomorrow afternoon. today mostly confined north and west. a few patchy clouds on the coast five boroughs, monmouth and ocean and middlesex. tomorrow we will see fair- weather clouds around, no big deal, pretty sky. big circulation over hudson bay, as long as this is close by, we remain comfortably cool. look at the temperatures to the north and west. this is heading to the north and west. it will be a shade below normal tomorrow. cool nights as well. 83. another beauty tomorrow. fair-weather clouds in the afternoon. friday is great, abundant sunshine, 84.
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then we start the climb back into the upper 80s. mostly clear on the accuweather forecast. 50s suburbs north and west. 83 tomorrow, pleasant. a few patchy clouds. tomorrow night will be the coolest night. at 5:30, will some places get in the 70s tomorrow? will the dog days return to end august and erika. could this storm dissipate the next two days? that's in the forecast at 5:30. >> thank you, lee. well, we have much more to come. an emotional day in court. the man behind a theater massacre learns his fate today. >> wait until you find out who the sleuth was that sniffed out a key piece of evidence in the
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case against jared fogle. new at 5:00, the keyless ignition systems are under fire and in some cases proven deadly. there is a class-action lawsuit that says the systems can allow cars to run when they shouldn't and lead to a dozen deaths. eyewitness news anchor bill ritter is here to explain.
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>> the newer cars have them, fobs. this is a fob. like an ornament on a key chain. a lawsuit claiming that these can be deadly. here is the gift of the lawsuit filed in federal court in california. the claim is that people leave their cars running and because the fob isn't connected like a key they assume it will shut down when they and the fob leave the car but if you keep it relatively close to the car like a kitchen near the garage it doesn't shut off. there have been 13 carbon monoxide deaths because of this and they claim ten of the largest carmakers, these carmakers have known for years about the potential co poisoning danger. why not have an automatic engine shut off if the fob is farer they are than a few -- farther than a few feet from the car or not in the car a censor. until this is resolved, the
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best defense is to make sure that you remove the fob from the car and turn off the engine by hitting the button off. it wasn't a worry with a plain old car key like this. >> i have left my car running because i forgot button. >> we learn. a man arrested for disabling red light cameras and it was his own facebook post that did him in. tonight he tells eyewitness news why he did it and has no regrets. >> new details on the mysterious disappearance of a
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connecticut coup we continue to follow the top story. a tv photographer and reporter gunned down. the shooting happened at 6:45 a.m. as alison parker and her photographer adam ward were conducting a live interview. >> about 8:26 abc news received a 23 page fax reportedly from the gunman, bryce williams whose legal name is vester flanagan. wdbj's general manager announced that parker and ward died. a third woman being interviewed in the live shot was in surgery. >> abc news received a phone call from flanagan saying he killed two people and that the cops were after him. officers picked him up in his car. he ran off the road and when police reached him, they found him with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. >> he was rushed to the
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hospital where he died at 1:26 this afternoon. the general manager in roanoke said he was fired in 2013 and he was fired from a station in tallahassee, florida. in 2000 he sued that station claiming racism. >> his former news director at that station said he never expected anything like this. >> it was a shock. the hair on the back of my neck went up. i know there was issues with him and his personality that kind of spiraled down and that's why we had to get rid of him. i won't say anything more about that. i didn't see that in his personality. >> at 6:00 we will hear from president obama about the shooting. >> our coverage continues online at abc7ny. we have an entire section with information about the victims and gunman. and, good evening, i'm sade baderinwa. >> i'm diana williams. topping our news this half hour, a defiant act in protest of those red light cameras. a man in suffolk county
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deliberately tampered with a camera. >> and reporting it all and porting it on you tube. that video landed him in handcuffs. he is speaking out about why he did and it and want to be arrested. >> n.j. burkett has the story in ronkonkoma. >> reporter: ocean avenue at the south service road in ronkonkoma, one of two intersections where the red why? because stephen ruth took a long pole and took matters into his own hands. >> it's abusive. it has to stop. >> reporter: stephen ruth said he fully expected to get arrested. >> i will show you how easy it is to take the power back. >> reporter: especially after he posted this video on you tube showing people how to disable suffolk county's red light cameras, by pointing them in the clouds. >> take your extension rod, place it under the camera and you point it out. >> reporter: ruth admits to disabling two cameras on the
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expressway service road in ronkonkoma, cameras that should have been recording this, instead recording this. ruth says he is fed up with getting tickets for what he claims are legal right hand turns. >> you look left to make sure that you are clear, make your right and you still get a ticket after making a stop. i can understand if you blow a red light you should get a ticket. but when you make a right on red after making a full stop,that is abuse. >> reporter: disabling the cameras was an act of civil disobedience. >> i call it breaking the law. >> reporter: she says the law requires motorists to make a full stop unlike this driver that rolled through the light. kathy rider got a ticket this year. she doesn't have much sympathy for stephen ruth. >> i didn't stop long enough according to the ticket. >> if he is not stopping, he should get the ticket. >> reporter: he says he is?
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>> well, i would like to see the footage. for the record, we asked, stephen ruth does not have any of the footage from his red light tickets. he is facing up to a year in jail if he is convicted. police say the law requires nothing more than a fume stop and -- full stop and, no, there is no such thing as a rolling stop. n.j. burkett, channel 7 eyewitness news. >> thank you. we have new details about the connecticut couple that disappeared without a trace. there is new evidence and it suggests that foul play may be involved. the evidence found in an abandoned truck that belonged to jeanette and jeffrey navin. police are doing forensic tests from a floor mat from the abandoned truck after investigators found a suspected fluid. they disappeared after visiting their son three weeks ago. the accused student in a rape trial testified in his own defense. he is charged with raping a 15-
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year-old classmate at st. paul's school in new hampshire. he gave his version of what happened. he said the two had consensual sexual contact but not intercourse. >> i would kiss her, she would kiss me. it all seemed, you know, as if it were leading up to having sex. >> she left the courtroom in tears. she testified she told him no twice. the defense rested after he got off the stand. closing arguments are scheduled for tomorrow. new york governor andrew cuomo is warning college students not to get a fake id. dozens of students that try to buy fake ids online and tried to have their identities stolen. by the way, possessing a fake i.d. is illegal. the estate of hugette clark lost their phyto recover donations that she gave to a hospital. a judge ruled the statute of
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limitations expired to argue that the hospital manipulated the heiress into donating. she lived there for two decades and died in 2011 at the age of 104. a consumer warning. millions of pounds of bacon is being recalled. one of the lead investigators in the jared fogle case tracked down a key piece of evidence hey terry stop! they have a special! so, what did you guys think of the test drive? i love the jetta. but what about a deal? terry, stop! it's quite alright... you know what? we want to make a deal with you. we're twins, so could you give us two for the price of one? come on, give us a deal. look at how old i am. do you come here often? he works here, terry! you work here, right? yes... ok let's get to the point. we're going to take the deal. get a $1000 volkswagen reward card on select 2015 jetta models. or lease a 2015 jetta s for $139 a month after a $1000 volkswagen bonus.
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we turn to breaking news in flatbush, brooklyn. a child has been struck by a car. shannon sohn is live over the scene in newscopter 7. another child was rushed to the hospital. can you tell us his condition at this point? >> reporter: the child is in serious but stable condition. he was rushed to kings county hospital. the accident happened within the last 15 minutes at the intersection of ditmas and east 22nd street.
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the circumstances around it are unknown. they have already transported that child, unknown age, to kings county hospital in serious by stable condition. you can see there are cars getting through on the bottom part of the screen. if you travel on ditmas, it is shut down between east 21st and 23rd streets. we have tape up as they close off this road on 22nd street with an investigation. reporting live over brooklyn, shannon sohn, channel 7 eyewitness news. >> thank you. a judge not hiding his disgust as he sentenced colorado movie theater james holmes to life in prison without the possibility of parole. after sentencing homes to 12 consecutive life sentences one for each victim killed in the rampage, the judge told court officers to get the defendant out of my courtroom. the courtroom filled with family members erupted into applause bringing to an end the grueling three-year case.
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a canine investigator cried did it with sniffing out a pivotal clue in the case against jared fogle. the labrador retriever helped investigators find electronic devices in fogle's home in indiana. bear's discovery of a hidden thumb driveways vital to the investigation. fogle admitted to distributing child porn and sex acts with minors. the he will defendant son of the duggars has checked into rehab in the wake of a cheating family. the family says josh duggar checked himself into a long- term treatment center. the former 19 kids and counting star admitted to infidelity and addiction to pornography. tlc canceled the show after reports that josh molested girls when he was a teenager. craft is recalling turkey
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bacon it affects oscar meyer selects uncured turkey bacon. it could spoil before the used by date. we have more information about this recall including specific product numbers posted at abc7ny. costumed characters first in time square then on coney island. >> now they are everywhere. tonight what other tourist sites they are targeting and it is causing trouble. plus this. >> reporter: she reports her car stolen and the cops fail to tell her it was ticketed and towed.
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months we have new developments in the double murder of a reporter and photographer in virginia. this is new video.
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it shows authorities wearing bomb gear searching the suspected gunman's apartment. police identified vester lee flanagan as the gunman. he was a former employee of wdbj-tv. you can see a lader going up into his apartment. of course once we learn what, if anything, they have found in that apartment, we will report it immediately back to you. >> and we want to turn our attention to weather. lee, you have been taking a look at tropical storm erica. >> new 5:00 update. ran into a couple on the street, they were heading to south florida, concerned about property down there. actually good encouraging news with the new adjusted track for erika when it comes to florida anyway. outside we go, anything but tropical. it has a little bit of an autumn feel with the breeze but it's nice around warm. we go outside, great shot downtown. a little cloud over manhattan right now.
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this dramatic shadow and a little hole in the cloud. then you see a lot of blue sky in the background. temperature at 82. mostly sunny sky. wind out of the northwest at 14 miles per hour. planner through the evening hours, any fair weather cloudiness will dissolve, clear overnight and 57 and 60s in the suburbs north and west. 57 at dawns. as the day wears on, a little more in the way of cumulus clouds you saw today, more in the afternoon hours. decoration. no rainfall. comfortable again with the low humidity. here is the futurecast. look at the numbers by morning. 53, maybe upper 40s in the coldest spots. mid- to upper-50s in the hudson valley. low to mid-60s long island, connecticut, down the shore, interior new jersey as well. during the afternoon hours, fair-weather clouds in the mid- 70s in some spots north and west. 69 tomorrow afternoon in monticello.
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we could reach an 83 or 84 in new york city. there is erika. on the final flames, the thunderstorms are scattered. nothing is really organized or consolidated. the center is here and all the thunderstorms are on the right- hand side. that is lopsided. that is not a show of strength. winds at 45 miles per hour. here are the adjustments to the track. the track toward puerto rico to the virgin islands is the same. that was forecasted with 50 miles per hour. we have taken that down. as it goes to the north, what does it do in the southeastern bahamas. now looking less likely it will go through the florida straits into the gulf of mexico. instead of that track taking it into south florida, a trend that may curve it a little earlier and hopefully make it stay offshore. we will watch that tendency. the computer models are includes stertd after the bahamas recur figure. no matter what it will keep the jet stream to the north keeping
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us in the heat and humidity. after this comfy stretch we are back to summer warmth this weekend. pollen count is high. through the sea and sand, one to three-foot chop. beautiful beach day tomorrow. top ten. we have to reset the bar with the top ten. heading up over the weekend afternoon storms, 90. early next week back to school sticky at the bus stop. >> thank you, lee. she thought cher karas stolen. for three months a mother in the bronx was fighting to find out what happened to it. >> it was towed and police failed to tell her where the car was for weeks. when she found out she owed thousands in storage fees, so,ing she turned to nina pineda. >> reporter: we spent nearly a month investigating this mystery going to the nypd and several city agencies trying to help a woman whose car she
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thought first vanished then was at a tow yard with a stack of charges she and we didn't think was her responsibility to pay. you have been walk wearing no car for how long? >> over two months. >> reporter: this expectant mother was stuck taking the subway to her job after her car vanished from 235th street where she parked it may 31st. you came here, it was gone. you called the police. >> i called the police. >> reporter: no it wasn't towed. >> they looked in the system, drove around with me for over an hour. they said it's not in the system. it's a grand larceny. >> reporter: officers filed a stolen car report on june 4th. >> if i report it and the police can't find it and they are the police, what am i supposed to do. >> reporter: where was the car? the day she parked it it was ticketed and towed by crown towing. leslie didn't find this out until they got a letter by
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crown. by now the balloon -- the bill bay loaned. >> it was $1,600. >> reporter: it wasn't until we investigated that the nypd admits dropping the ball. they knew that leslie's car was ticketed and towed but failed to tell the vehicle owner anything. when leslie asked the police for help, she got this voicemail back from the nypd. >> go and pick up my car and i am responsible for all charges. >> reporter: we didn't think that was right. we asked for help from the department of finance who referred us to the nypd. they sent us to the comptroller. we appealed to the public advocate. then we threw a hail mary to mayor de blasio's office. last night we were notified less see could pick up her car. the nypd stepped up and paid the storage fees. it was our calls to the mayor that got results. >> thank you 7 on your side. call nine that. she can get it down. >> she is a few months away from delivering.
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boy is she glad to get the wheels back. if your car is towed check with the local precinct. towers are required to inform immediately if they took possession of your car. in this case, that is what was done but somehow that information, the nypd never put it in the system. >> if she thinks you can get it done, to deliver the baby. >> kudos to the mayor and to the nypd for admitting they made a mistake. >> anyone can make a mistake. owning up to it -- >> thanks, nina. does it drive you nuts when you see someone on a cell phone at the wrong time? >> drives me crazy. especially during dinner. when you are not alone, the pew center found 82% of people feel a phone hurts social settings but 89% use them anyway. only 16% say at dinner it's okay.
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>> on the set, what happens. >> just not during the piece. costume characters taking over a tourist spot in manhattan. >> tonight, where they popped up and what the city says about the move. join the millions who have already switched. we switched. and now, we're streaming netflix. who knew time warner cable's internet was so fast! mom switched. and now, we can watch our favorite shows together, on demand. i switched. so i can connect to the internet just about anywhere with my free twc wifi hotspots. join the millions who switched
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the debate over costume characters is spreading and zoo are the characters -- and so are the characters spreading. >> tensions are boiling over. kemberly richardson is live in lower manhattan. kemberly? >> reporter: sade, a pair of mice and a guy from a vie game. the costume characters relocated to battery park. this issue of spillover, it's something that officials are trying to get ahead of. with 55 million tourists coming to the city, they can't afford not to. not very lady like in battery park. we caught the statue of liberty having a verbal spat with a tourist.
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>> he keeps saying take a free picture. he wants money for taking a picture with him. >> reporter: the heated exchange strikes a nerve with park pay loose who are on the look out in lower manhattan for the same costumed characters that have taken over other parts of the city. >> around 10:30, i went outside and i was trying to catch those people, the costumed characters. >> reporter: he did. he spotted pair of mice and a video game character. about a week ago topless women who set up shop in time's square headed south to this park. >> off the bat we knew with the statue guy and them, you have two groups competing with tourists for tips, it would be a problem. >> reporter: something the nypd acknowledges so it is creating a new unit, officers in time's square who will focus on these characters who for the first
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time in july started popping up in coney island. this character spillover, a city task force is looking at what regulations are in place, city streets versus parks. >> acts of harassment toward tourists and new yorkers, you want to address that. >> reporter: lady liberty wasn't demanding that tourist fork over cash. you wanted a donation. >> one dollar, two dollars, $3. >> reporter: suddenly it was a donation. as for the nypd, that new unit, the department is looking for volunteers. part of the officer's training will focus on the legal issues that come with these situations. for now live in lower manhattan, kemberly richardson, channel 7 eyewitness news. >> thank you. still to come, the case of the vanishing street signs. who is ripping them off. >> "eyewitness news at 6:00"
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starts right now. a deadly shooting on live television. a reporter and photographer both shot and killed during a morning live shot in virginia. the gunman, a former reporter at the same station who later killed himself reporting the whole thing from his point of view. the video is too graphic for us to show. police are searching the gunman's apartment looking for evidence. >> the deadly crime unfolded on live television during a morning newscast at a small station in virginia. here is the latest. reporter alison parker and photographer alan ward were killed interviewing a tourism official. suddenly shots rang out. >> the woman, vicky gardner, wounded. after an operation she is in stable condition. >> the gunman, vester flanagan posting twitter on facebook and twitter of the nine shots he fired and sent tweets

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