Ahead of Houston music festival, police discuss security, use of drones

Published: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Las Vegas Shooting: At Least 50 Dead, More Than 200 Injured

The recent massacre at an outdoor country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip raises concerns about security for a number of large outdoor musical events, including Houston’s upcoming Day for Night Festival slated for December.

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Omar Afra, the organizer of Day for Night, said his group will heighten its security for upcoming events.

“Given what happened ... we’ve got to have more secure points and that means not just inside the festival grounds, but again on the perimeter of the festival grounds, and that means more personnel,” Afra told KTRK-TV.

“We’ve been speaking with the Houston Police Department and our security contractors to really get an understanding of what we can do to make this the safest environment for our attendees.”

Unlike the largely outdoor Route 91 Harvest Music Festival, Day for Night will be hosted at Post HTX, also known as the historic Barbara Jordan Post Office, a “1.5 million square foot hybrid indoor-outdoor space,” according to the music festival’s official website.

The event will feature concerts by Nine Inch Nails, Justice, St. Vincent, Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Solange Knowles.

The new security measures may be a sign of things to come for outdoor festivals across the country.

For large events such as these, the debate arises as to whether or not police-controlled drone aircraft should be used to spot potential security risks. Former Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland spoke out in favor of using such drones at large events.

“I see no reason why commercial vendors are allowed to fly large drones over large crowds and outdoor events here in Houston, but the law enforcement community doesn’t use that same technology,” McClelland said, according to KTRK-TV.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo also spoke out about the potential uses for drones.

“When you talk about drones in this country in the hands of law enforcement, it invokes a lot of privacy issues, it invokes a lot of fear, and it invokes a lot of backlash,” Acevedo told KTRK-TV.

Flying drone .(Richard Newstead/Getty Images)

RELATED: CBS responds to an employee’s insensitive remark about the Las Vegas shooting victims

Bullied boy's confessional video resonating across the globe

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 6:47 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Holding back tears, a Tennessee boy asked a simple question. 

"Just out of curiosity -- why do they bully? What's the point of it," said Keaton Jones. 

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Keaton's confessional video about bullying has been watched more than 17 million times. His mother posted it on Facebook after Keaton asked to make a video about bullying. She was picking him up early because he was afraid to go to lunch. 

"They make fun of my nose, they call me ugly, they say I have no friends," he said. 

He said that the bullies poured milk on him during lunch. 

At the end of the video, which is not even 90 seconds, Keaton shared a message that has been resonating with people around the world. 

"People that are different don't need to be criticized about it, It's not their fault," he said. "If you are made fun, don't let it bother you. They suck."

Tears were streaming down the 11-year-old's face. 

The video has been shared nearly 350,000 times on Facebook. It's all over Twitter. People are demanding change and celebrities are tweeting in support of the middle school student, including members of the Tennessee football team. 

Along with messages of support, the video has also resulted in memes, shared to Keaton's mom's Facebook page.

The family said they have been overwhelmed with the response, and his sister said on Twitter that the messages have brought joy to Keaton.

Members of the Tennessee football team are working to organize a meeting at his school to stop the bullying and raise Keaton's spirits. 

Even with all the attention, Keaton's mom said there's still a lot of work to be done. 

"I'm humbled by the voice my boy has been given, but he's still just a little boy, and he's a little boy who desperately wants acceptance, that I have to try to find a way to navigate him through the difference in true acceptance and attention," Kimberly wrote on Facebook. 

3 doctors aboard flight save unresponsive woman

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 5:41 PM

Debbie Taylor is grateful for the doctors aboard her flight that helped save her life. (Photo: WFTV.com)
Debbie Taylor is grateful for the doctors aboard her flight that helped save her life. (Photo: WFTV.com)

A Tampa woman said she is grateful to three doctors who saved her life during a flight home from Vietnam.

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Debbie Taylor said she started feeling sick on the plane and then became unresponsive.

That's when three doctors administered CPR until the pilot could make an emergency landing in Alaska.

"It feels really good to be alive," Taylor said. “I have some angels up there that said it wasn't my time yet."

Taylor said she temporarily entered a coma after the flight.

Taylor said she never got a chance to thank the unnamed doctors. 

"They saved my life. Thank you very much," she said.

Taylor is home and doing well, she said. 

Disney releases details on new gondola system, Disney Skyliner

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 5:07 PM

Disney released new details and visuals on gondolas that will connect some of its theme parks and hotels at Walt Disney World. (Photo: Disney)
Disney released new details and visuals on gondolas that will connect some of its theme parks and hotels at Walt Disney World. (Photo: Disney)

Disney released new details and visuals on the gondola system that will connect some of its theme parks and hotels at Walt Disney World.

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The Disney Parks and Resorts Blog released information on the gondola system, called the Disney Skyliner. 

Disney released new details and visuals on gondolas that will connect some of its theme parks and hotels at Walt Disney World. (Photo: Disney)

Each cabin will showcase Disney characters and stations will be spread out throughout the park to give visitors a scenic view of the resort. 

One station will be at the International Gateway at Epcot. Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort will be the station that serves as the system's hub where guests can transfer.

The blog did not say when the gondolas will open.

The gondola construction project comes as Disney is expanding by building new lands in Hollywood Studios and adding more rides in Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

Intruder killed by 85-year-old man was family member

Published: Saturday, December 09, 2017 @ 10:40 PM

Elderly Man Kills Intruder Who Was A Family Member

The intruder shot and killed by an elderly homeowner in Lawrence County early Friday morning has been identified as the shooter's nephew-in-law. 

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Investigators told Channel 11 the man has been identified as Dennis Mercadante, 49.

Mercadante was identified by using facial recognition by Pennsylvania State Police. 

Investigators said Don Lutz, 85, was confronted by two intruders, Mercadante and another suspect, at about 1:30 a.m. Friday at his Jamison Avenue home, and an altercation followed.

“I just fired one. It was in the dark. He attacked me and he was up close and I shot him,” Lutz said.

“They jumped me and we both went on the floor. I scuffled with them on the floor and the one guy rolled over dead and the other guy, he jumped up and went out the door.”

Police are still searching for the second suspect, who ran off. 

“The other one, maybe the bullet hit him, too. I don’t know. I hope so,” Lutz said.