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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.”

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Without a voice, DC reporter Jamie Dupree's work still resonates across the US

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:23 AM

Jamie Dupree. (Photo credit: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jamie Dupree. (Photo credit: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

A familiar Cox Radio voice is determined to be heard again.

>> On Cox DC bureau reporter loses voice in medical mystery

Cox Media Group Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree has spent more than three decades covering Capitol Hill, but nearly two years ago, his method of communication had to change.

>> The radio silence of Jamie Dupree

Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for his brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak.

“It’s hard, but I am working to come back hard,” Dupree tells WSB Radio.

>> Read Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider blog here

Doctors say a rare neurological condition is making it difficult for Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree's brain to tell his tongue what to do while speaking. Placing a pen in his mouth helps him speak. (Photo via

He is now hoping a meeting with specialists at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta will help him figure out why he lost his voice. 

And the reporter in him has not quit.

“He still does interviews; he feeds us audio,” WSB Radio News Director Chris Camp says. Dupree also covers Congress via Facebook, Twitter and Cox Media Group websites. 

>> DC reporter Jamie Dupree honored on House floor

“He may not be able to talk, but boy you can hear him awful loud,” Camp adds.

Dupree is thankful to all who have wished him well. While the condition has obviously affected his job, that is not what he says hurts him the most.

“Think about not being able to talk to your kids, or your wife or your father or your friends. While my work is hard and different, life is about a lot more than that.”

>> WATCH: WSB-TVs Berndt Petersen speaks with Jamie about his struggle over the past couple years

Dupree says Emory researchers are trying a new treatment that will slow down the movement of his tongue to make it easier for him to speak. In the meantime, Jamie wants everyone to know his overall health is good.

“Even though he can't speak, Jamie is still the most trusted voice in Washington DC,” WSB Radio’s Bill Caiaccio says of his colleague and friend. “He was already the hardest working reporter in our nation’s capital, and now he works even harder to get the job done.”

WSB Radio anchor Chris Chandler echoes those sentiments, saying, "I've always said Jamie is the most valuable on-air presence on our stations, and he still is.

“There's not a word of news from Washington that he hasn't reported and broken down for us.”

Mark Arum, WSB Radio traffic anchor and talk show host, adds that Dupree is an invaluable resource: “He might have lost his voice, but he still has the drive to get the story and get it right.”

>> Read more trending news 

Sabrina Cupit, who anchors midday for WSB Radio, says Dupree is so much more than his voice: “His knowledge of Washington, his connections, his balanced reporting; they are all still a major part of what we do on air every day here at WSB.

“Personally, I have never met a kinder, more honest or just downright great human being in my life. I am praying for the return of his voice. I do miss hearing it.”

Get Dupree's take on what's happening in Washington delivered to your inbox every weekday by clicking here.

Jamie Dupree is a reporter for the Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau. 

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Brawl breaks out at IHOP after manager confronts unruly party

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 11:25 AM

File photo.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Owners of the Midtown IHOP are working to add more security at the restaurant after an early-morning attack.

>> Read more trending news

During the early-morning hours on Friday, March 16, the restaurant's manager, Mohammad Al Hourani, confronted an unruly party of five. 

Tuesday, police arrested Malachi Okelley.

“They started getting louder and louder. The customers inside started getting annoyed,” said Al Hourani.

The manager said Okelley was one of several customers who became loud and aggressive before he asked them to leave.

Shortly after, he found himself in a fight with the five customers, who began throwing objects at him as he fought off others. 

“My face was covered with blood. I couldn’t even open my eyes,” he said. 

Al Hourani is back at work, now with 16 stitches on his face and four staples in the back of his head. 

He said he is planning to have more security inside his restaurant.

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Austin bomb victim's father thanks authorities in letter, questions son's death

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 3:02 PM

Austin Package Explosions: Suspect Dead

The father of the first Austin bombing victim, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House, thanked local and federal law enforcement officers for their handling of the investigation in a letter released Thursday that also questioned the meaning behind the attacks.

>> Read more trending news

“I wish to express my deepest appreciation for the exhaustive efforts and work of the Austin Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agency, and other agencies that participated in this investigation of the series of explosive devices,” Elliot House, Anthony House’s father, wrote in a letter first reported by CBS News.

>> Related: Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House

“Hopefully, the death of the bomb maker suspect ends the ring of fear and terror in the Austin area, although it leaves a few questions, shared with both the family of my son, Anthony House, and 17-year-old Draylen Mason, both being black and the only deaths in the series of bombings,” House continued. “We are plagued with how they were selected and why.”

Austin police have identified the people killed in two separate package explosions as Draylen Mason, left, and Anthony House. Mason died in a bombing Monday morning. House died after an explosion March 2. Photos: Courtesy of Kylie Phillips and Norrell Waynewood.(American-Statesman Staff)

Anthony House was the father of an 8-year-old girl and a Texas State University graduate.

Elliot House said he also appreciated the “personal condolence” from Christopher Combs, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the San Antonio Field Division, and Mayor Steve Adler. House noted that he especially appreciated that Adler “apologized for the initial investigation of the bombing involving my son by APD.”

>> Related: Austin bombings: How to help the victims

Many in the community have criticized the Austin Police Department for its handling and characterization of the first bombing. Several people in an East Austin town hall last week questioned whether Austin police would have more readily sounded the alarm and warned the community about the package bombs sooner had the first bombing killed a white person in a neighborhood west of Interstate 35.

>> Related: 55 hours of terror, and a final blast in Austin serial bombings

Elliot House expressed his grief, saying that the death of his son in the bombing left him childless, as his other son, Corey Alan House, was killed in 1994 at age 17.

“I have no more sons. I continue to mourn my losses,” House wrote in the letter to authorities. “But continue the good work.”


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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Woman steals waiter's tip at Memphis restaurant

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 2:39 PM

FILE PHOTO (Craig Toocheck, license:
Craig Toocheck,
FILE PHOTO (Craig Toocheck, license: Toocheck,

A Facebook post is going viral in Memphis, but the people featured in it likely wish it wasn’t.

The post, which has been shared more than 339,000 times, reads as follows:

It features two videos.

In the first video, you see two women getting ready to leave Casa Mexicana on Hacks Cross. One of them places money on the table – a tip for the waiter – and they walk away.

>> Read more trending news 

Once they leave, a woman in the neighboring booth points to the table with the money. She looks over her shoulder and around the restaurant and talks to the man she’s sitting with.

Eventually, she gets up and takes the money off the table. After hurrying back to her booth, the woman stuffs the money in her shirt and the couple continues looking around.

In the second video, the couple looks around a little more and keeps talking before finally leaving the restaurant.

A waiter quickly walks into frame and goes to the table where the money was left. He lifts up the chip basket and a plate, but the money is nowhere to be found. 

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