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Couple, 2 young children found dead of probable carbon monoxide poisoning

Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 4:55 PM

Family Of Four Found Dead, Probable Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

An Arizona couple and their two young children were found dead Monday in what authorities said was a case of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Anthony and Megan Capitano, both 32, Lincoln Capitano, 4, and Kingsli Capitano, 3, were found during a welfare check performed after family members were unable to reach them for several days. Officials with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said that the family from El Mirage was staying in a cabin belonging to a family friend in Parks, which is located west of Flagstaff in the Coconino National Forest.

A deputy sent to check on the family found their vehicle parked outside the cabin and, when he approached the home, smelled a strong odor of gas coming from inside, Sheriff’s Office officials said. Additional deputies were called in, as were firefighters from the Ponderosa Fire Department. 

Firefighters wearing self-contained breathing equipment went inside and found the family dead, fire officials reported. Anthony Capitano’s older son, Ashton, was home with his mother in Texas when his father, stepmother and siblings died. 

Sheriff’s Office investigators called in a heating and cooling provider to investigate the gas heating system in the cabin. 

“The contractor found a significant failure in the heating system which would be consistent with carbon monoxide overcoming the residence,” investigators said in a statement. “The heating unit was the only gas appliance in the home. This provides additional evidence regarding a possible carbon monoxide-related event.”

The Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office was still working to confirm the manner and cause of death, investigators said. 

Jon Paxton, a spokesman with the Sheriff’s Office, told KPNX-TV in Phoenix that the family drove up to the cabin late Friday evening. Investigators believe the gas leak killed them early the following morning. 

Friends of the couple told the news station that the family had stayed at the cabin several times before. One friend, Rhonda Alsobrook, said that she and Megan Capitano texted back and forth multiple times just hours before the family likely died. 

“I sent her this snap, ‘I love you more,’” Rhonda Alsobrook said. “I won this conversation because I said, ‘I love you more,’ and I was the last one to say, ‘I love you more.’”

Alsobrook, a professional photographer, told the news station that she was up late Friday night and into Saturday morning, finishing up the Capitano family’s Christmas photos, which were taken about two weeks before their deaths. 

She said she didn’t hear from Megan Capitano again. Days later, she received the devastating news.

“I got a phone call from her sister,” Alsobrook said. “She called me and told me, and it didn’t really set in.”

Alsobrook said she believes the family went to sleep, unaware of the danger they were in, and never woke up. 

Carbon monoxide is a particularly potent danger in the winter, when cold temperatures have people turning on their heat to stay warm. Though the gas is odorless, it is sometimes possible to smell a leak from a propane gas furnace, Ponderosa Fire Chief Lee Antonides told KPNX

“It depends on how strong the smell is, how rich, and when the furnace was last serviced,” the fire chief said. “Sometimes you can smell it, and sometimes you can’t.”

Antonides said anyone with gas heat should have a certified heating contractor inspect their home’s system before using it each winter. He said a yearly inspection is also important in rental properties. 

“It’s important, if you’re renting a place you’re not familiar with, to ask when the last time the furnace was inspected,” Antonides told the news station. “Ask if there’s a carbon monoxide detector in the house and, if there is, make sure it functions.”

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 400 people die of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning each year. Another 20,000 people visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 of those people are hospitalized. 

Symptoms of carbon dioxide poisoning, which are often described as “flu-like,” include headaches, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. The CDC said on the agency’s website that people who are asleep or have been drinking can die from poisoning before any symptoms appear. 

Homeowners who have gas heating systems or other gas appliances should install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors, or electric detectors with battery backup, the CDC said. Detectors should be placed where residents can hear them if they go off at night, and the batteries should be replaced at least twice a year.

Carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every five years. 

Gas heating systems, along with gas, coal or oil burning appliances, should be serviced annually, the CDC said. Chimneys, which can become blocked by debris, should also be serviced each year. 

Portable gas heaters and other gas-burning items like generators, should never be used indoors. Generators also should not be used within 20 feet of windows, doors or vents. 

Click here for more safety tips from the CDC.

Friends of the Capitanos expressed shock and grief on social media.

“This is so hard to process,” Dan Matock wrote on Facebook. “My friend and his family will be sorely missed. I love you, Tony Capitano, Megan Capitano, Lincoln and Kingsli.”

Christle McGinnis described the family as “beautiful, caring souls.”  

A man named Marty Gallo wrote that he was devastated by the deaths. 

“My heart breaks that I wished I spent more time with you and your family,” Gallo wrote. “Tony Capitano and Megan Capitano were above and beyond the greatest souls to be around. Unwavering good in them, and it showed in their two beautiful young humans, Lincoln and Kingsli.”

Another friend, Anthony Martinez, described Tony Capitano as an incredible person.

“Hug your loved ones,” Martinez wrote. “You never know when it’s your time. RIP.”

Live updates State of the Union 2018: What time, what channel, livestream, protests

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 12:10 PM

President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)
Jim Lo Scalzo/AP
President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)(Jim Lo Scalzo/AP)

Five Democratic members of Congress have said they will not attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address set for the end of the month, boycotting the speech, they say, because of an alleged racial slur over immigration by the president.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), announced Monday she will not attend the speech. Four other Democrats had previously said they will not be attending. When Trump gives the speech in front of a joint session of Congress on Jan. 30 he will see the female Democrats attending the speech, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D-Calif.), dressed in black to show solidarity with the “Me Too” movement which gives voice to those who have been sexually harassed or assaulted.

While this will be Trump’s first State of the Union address, it is not the first time he has addressed a joint session of Congress. Trump spoke before Congress last February.

Check back here on Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. for live updates from the speech and reaction afterward.

Here’s how to watch the speech.

When is the speech: Tuesday, Jan. 30

What time: 9 p.m. ET

What channel: The speech will be carried live on all the major cable and news networks.

Livestream: on YouTube from the White House YouTube channel

Where is it taking place: President Trump will deliver the speech from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Why he does it: Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution says, the president “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” The speech was first called the Annual Message, then in the 1940s, the address became known as the “state of the union.” Since 1947, the speech has been known as the “State of the Union Address.”

Firsts for State of the Union speeches

From the U.S. House History, Art & Archives website:

First radio broadcast of the address: President Calvin Coolidge, 1923.

First television broadcast of address: President Harry Truman, 1947.

First televised evening delivery of address: President Lyndon Johnson, 1965.

First live webcast on Internet: President George W. Bush, 2002.

First high definition television broadcast of the address came with President George W. Bush’s State of the Union message in 2004.

Protests:

Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), said she will give her guest ticket to the speech to a person involved in the “Me Too” movement.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other female Democrats have said they plan to wear black to the speech in solidarity with the “Me Too” movement.

Who is not coming:

More than 60 members of Congress boycotted Trump’s inauguration. So far, five Democrats have said that they will not attend the State of the Union address. They are:

  • Maxine Waters, (D-Calif.)
  • John Lewis, (D-Ga.)
  • Earl Blumenauer, (D-Oregon)
  • Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.)
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) 

 

Live updates

Robert Mueller subpoenas Steve Bannon in Russia probe

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:57 AM

Who is Steven Bannon

Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, to testify before a grand jury as part of the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to the Trump campaign, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

>> Read more trending news

>> Related: Steve Bannon to testify before House Intel Committee in Russia probe

Girl attacked, killed by dog family owned for five days

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 9:08 AM

Girl Killed By Dog That Family Owned For Only Five Days

An Oklahoma family is mourning the loss of their 3-year-old daughter who was the victim of a dog attack.

Rylee Marie Dodge was mauled by her family’s dog, an animal they said they had owned for only five days, KSWO reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Rylee’s father Jason was visiting his brother, when he got a call about the attack from his mother who was watching Rylee.

When he got home, he said his mother was trying to rescue the little girl from the pit bull named Remington, KSWO reported. His mother was also injured by the dog. Eventually he was successful in getting his daughter away from the animal, and was putting Rylee in his truck when paramedics arrived, KSWO reported.

Doctors tried to save Rylee, but she died at an area hospital.

Dodge said the dog hadn’t acted strangely before the attack and that it had been playing with Rylee’s brother the day before Rylee was attacked, KSWO reported.

Danica Patrick confirms she’s dating Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 11:53 AM

Racing driver Danica Patrick (R) confirmed she and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers are dating.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images, Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Racing driver Danica Patrick (R) confirmed she and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers are dating.(Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images, Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Danica Patrick is dating Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The NASCAR driver confirmed the two were an item to The Associated Press Monday.

“Yes, Aaron and I are dating,” she said. 

“Entertainment Tonight” reported that rumors were swirling at the start of the new year that Patrick, 35, was dating Rodgers, 34, after being seen having dinner with him on two occasions.

>> Read more trending news 

Paparazzi cameras caught up with Patrick Jan. 4. Although she was chatty, she quickly clammed up when asked if she was dating Rodgers.

She put those rumors to rest with her statement, which was also confirmed by her representative.

According to the race car driver, she first met Rodgers at the 2012 ESPYS. 

“I told him a long time ago I’d always root for him as a player,” Patrick, a Chicago Bears fan, told The AP.

“Now I am probably going to cheer for the whole team,” she said. “Take out the word ‘probably.’ Now I’m going to cheer for the whole team.”

The two each ended relationships last year. Patrick dated NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 30, for five years. Rodgers dated actress Olivia Munn, 37, for three years before they split.