3 dead, 35 injured after 'Unite the Right' rally sparks violence in Charlottesville

Published: Saturday, August 12, 2017 @ 3:38 PM
Updated: Saturday, August 12, 2017 @ 9:41 PM

Alt-Right Rally in Virginia

A Saturday rally in Emancipation Park in Virginia around the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee ended before it began, as authorities shut the event down due to violence.

The Virginia State Police declared an unlawful assembly and ordered the crowd to disperse about a half-hour before the protest was to begin.

After rally attendees and protesters dispersed, a car rammed into a group of people Saturday afternoon. 

Just a couple hours later, a helicopter flying over the fray with two police officers crashed.

The Associated Press confirmed with hospital officials that a 32-year-old woman crossing the street was killed, and 19 others were treated for injuries. Altogether 35 people were treated for injuries.

The Associated Press confirmed that the driver has been arrested.

Read the original report below.

Supporters and protesters were seen gathering Saturday morning at the rally site.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said the event could be “the largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the United States.”

Alt-right activists marched in a torch-lit rally late Friday through the University of Virginia campus and clashed with rival protesters, CNN reported.

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Protesters chanted “blood and soil” and “one people, one nation, end immigration” as they rallied around a statue of Thomas Jefferson, WWBT reported.

Police broke up Friday’s march, calling it “unlawful assembly.” University officials condemned the gathering. Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said in a statement that the rally was “a cowardly parade of hatred, bigotry, racism, and intolerance” that passed by the statue Jefferson, who founded the university in 1819.

“Everyone has a right under the First Amendment to express their opinion peaceably, so here's mine: not only as the Mayor of Charlottesville, but as a UVA faculty member and alumnus, I am beyond disgusted by this unsanctioned and despicable display of visual intimidation on a college campus," Signer said.

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan said she “strongly” condemned the clashes.

"Law enforcement continues to investigate the incident, and it is my hope that any individuals responsible for criminal acts are held accountable,” she said in a statement.

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3 rental car companies cancel discounts for NRA members

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 5:45 AM

Enterprise is one of three companies that will discontinue discounts and deals for NRA members starting next month.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Enterprise is one of three companies that will discontinue discounts and deals for NRA members starting next month.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Three car rental companies have discontinued discounts and deals for National Rifle Association members, The Dallas Morning News reported.

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The moves by Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental, all owned by Enterprise Holdings, were done in the wake of the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead.

The car rental companies will end their discounts on March 26, the Morning News reported.

>> NRA opposes raising minimum age to buy rifles

The NRA has faced intense criticism following the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

An NRA spokeswoman referred questions Thursday to the group's licensing department. A phone message left with that office was not immediately returned.

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McDonald's manager in Cleveland accused of firing shots at customers

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 5:00 AM

McDonald's drive-thru.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
McDonald's drive-thru.(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A McDonald’s manager in Cleveland allegedly fired shots at three women in a car at the restaurant’s drive-thru, police said.

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Cleveland police said they have issued an arrest warrant for the man after the alleged incident Wednesday morning, WJW reported.

According to a police report, the women were buying a smoothie at the drive-thru window. When one of the women opened her water bottle and some of the liquid splashed outside of the car, the McDonald’s employee cursed and then fired two shots, WJW reported.

The driver said one shot went into the car near a back tail light.

According to police, McDonald’s employees denied knowledge of shots being fired.

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Could blood and urine test be used to diagnose autism?

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 4:08 AM

An autistic child looks out a window.
China Photos/Getty Images
An autistic child looks out a window.(China Photos/Getty Images)

A newly developed blood and urine test could potentially detect autism in young children.

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That’s according to new research from scientists in the United Kingdom and Italy who conducted tests searching for damage to proteins previously known to be higher in children with autism spectrum disorders.

The study, published this week in the academic journal Molecular Autism, tested 38 children between 5-12 years old with autism and 31 without, looking for differences in samples of urine and blood between the two groups.

The results revealed that children with autism had greater protein damage when examining plasma in their blood, which causes higher levels of an oxidation marker called dityrosine as well as sugar-modified compounds known as advanced glycation end-products.

"We have found that the power of measuring damaged proteins to the brain may be a cause for a development of autism," Dr. Paul Thornalley, professor of systems biology at the University of Warwick and one of the study’s lead researchers, explained to CNN.

According to Thornalley, previous research has also shown a connection between autism and proteins that were not damaged, the reverse of this study.

"Our discovery could lead to earlier diagnosis and intervention. We hope the tests will also reveal new causative factors," Dr. Naila Rabbani, another lead researcher from the University of Warwick, told The Guardian.

"With further testing we may reveal specific plasma and urinary profiles – or 'fingerprints' – of compounds with damaging modifications. This may help us improve the diagnosis of ASD and point the way to new causes of ASD,” she said.

While the new results appear promising, some researchers have expressed caution about the study’s small sample size and the study’s lack of a concrete diagnosis plan.

"This study may give us clues about why autistic people are different but it does not provide a new method for diagnosis. It is far too early for that," Dr. James Cusack, director of science at the UK autism research charity Autistica, told the BBC.

"We don't know whether this technique can tell the difference between autism, ADHD, anxiety or other similar conditions. The study also only looked at a small group of people," he pointed out. "The best way to diagnose autism is still through clinical interview and observation."

But despite the criticism, the scientists behind the research are calling it a "first step" toward developing a simple test. They aim to move forward with further research, performing the tests on a larger group including younger children.

"We have the method, we have everything. All we need to do is repeat it," Rabbani said. "I would really like to go forward with younger children, maybe two years, or even one year old. Then the next step will be to validate in a larger cohort. Then the tests will be ready for screening."

More than 3.5 million people in the U.S. currently live with autism spectrum disorders, according to statistics from the Autism Society. The development disorder, which mainly affects social interaction and leads to behavioral problems, is estimated to have genetic causes in 30 percent of cases. The other 70 percent of autism cases are believed to be caused by mutations of genetics and environmental factors combined.

Although many individuals with autism go on to live normal productive lives, 35 percent of young adults with the disorder are unable to work jobs or pursue higher education after high school.

Doctors currently rely on a series of behavioral tests to diagnose the disorder. These can take a great deal of time and are not always accurate. If a blood or urine test could provide a faster and more definitive diagnosis, it would go a long way to ensure young children received the treatment and resources they need earlier on.

However, although experts see the new research as promising, they are still cautioning that such a test is still a long way from being viable.

"This is a promising area; however, this is a very long way indeed from a 'test for autism,' " Dr. Max Davie, spokesman for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said. "It is important that it is not adopted with too much enthusiasm."

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Indiana man's casket discovered missing from gravesite after wife's death

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 3:17 AM

An Indiana woman was upset to discover that her father's remains were not buried beneath his grave marker.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
An Indiana woman was upset to discover that her father's remains were not buried beneath his grave marker.(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

An Indiana woman is angry after learning her father’s casket is missing from his gravesite, WISH reported.

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Mary Helen Samson Bovenschen died Feb. 18 at the age of 88. She was to buried next to her husband, Charles Bovenschen, who died Nov. 4, 2006 at age 80. But the couple’s daughter, Sandi Vasel, was stunned when speaking to a funeral home employee after her mother’s service Wednesday at Lincoln Memory Gardens in Whitestown. The employee told her that cemetery officials had encountered a “technical glitch,” WTHR reported.

“They lost my dad. They don’t know where my dad is. He’s not there. He’s not in the grave,” Vasel told WXIN.

Charles Bovenschen’s casket was not in the family plot because of the glitch, and cemetery officials were at a loss to explain why.

“That’s the term they used,” Vasel said. “I thought the technical glitch was because it was too muddy.”

The cemetery had moved Mary Bovenschen’s service into the mausoleum area of the facility, WISH reported. After the service, Vasel learned that her father’s remains were missing.

“I stood there for a minute and I said, ‘So, what you’re telling me is you don’t know where my dad’s at.’ She (official) said, ‘No, we don’t.’

“I froze. I completely just froze.”

The Bovenschens were married on Aug. 16, 1946, and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary three months before Charles’ death. 

They bought a plot at Lincoln Memory Gardens, and that was where Charles was supposed to be buried. 

Vasel said that when her father died, the ground was so muddy that there could not be a graveside service. However, the family did see the area where he was supposed to be buried, WTHR reported.

Apparently, he wasn’t buried there.

"I know mistakes get made, but when you're talking about the remains of a loved one, I think you need to be vigilant on putting them where they belong," Vasel said.

The cemetery was sold to Stonemar Partners in 2010. A company spokesman said they have apologized to Vasel and her family and are launching an internal investigation, WTHR reported.

“You're grief-stricken, you're putting your loved one in the ground. You don't think to make sure it's the right hole," Vasel told WTHR.

Mary Bovenschen’s final resting place has been put on hold until cemetery officials can locate her husband’s casket, WTHR reported.

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