Florida toddler drowns in family pool while father sleeps inside, state investigating

Published: Thursday, August 24, 2017 @ 4:55 PM

Toddler Drowns in Pool While Father Sleeps

Florida state officials are investigating the drowning death of a 3-year-old Palm Beach County boy earlier this month while his father was allegedly asleep inside the family’s home.

>> Read more trending news

The boy was home with his father while his mother was at work on Thursday, Aug. 10, documents from the Florida Department of Children and Families show. 

The father fell asleep — state records emphasize that it’s unknown whether that was intentional — and when he woke up, the 3-year-old was missing.

A search of the house was unsuccessful, so the father asked a neighbor to help him look for the boy, state officials said.

More than 30 minutes passed before the father contacted the boy’s mother, who then called law enforcement, DCF records show. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office then responded to the scene.

>> Related: Brother, sister drown in hotel pool during church trip

Authorities immediately found the boy floating in the family’s swimming pool. They rushed him to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, where he was pronounced dead.

Read more here.

Firefighters rescue dog from freezing waters in Colorado

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 11:11 AM

WATCH: Firefighters Rescue Pup From Freezing River

Firefighters in Colorado recently rescued a German shepherd from a freezing river.

The Pueblo Fire Department posted the now-viral rescue on its Facebook page.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

The 1-year-old pup, named Bill, was pulled from the Arkansas River by the department’s Ice Rescue team on Jan. 17.

The department is reportedly unsure how Bill ended up in the river, but he was reported as OK and reunited with his owner.

Elderly Louisiana man freezes to death in home with no heat

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 11:23 AM

Paul Maker
Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office
Paul Maker(Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office)

An elderly Louisiana man whose home had no heat was found dead Wednesday morning, and his wife was hospitalized, after temperatures dropped into the teens overnight. 

Paul Maker, 84, of New Roads, was found lying on the floor of his home by sheriff’s deputies, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported. Both Maker and his wife were disabled and wheelchair-bound.

The house had no heat, and the couple was afraid to run their space heaters because of the fire hazard, law enforcement officials said. Deputies went to their home Wednesday morning after a neighbor who often checked on the Makers called 911 to request a welfare check. 

“He was in the house with his wife, and they were deathly afraid of running their space heaters overnight,” Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Bud Torres told the newspaper. “This is just a sad situation.”

The couple’s children live in New Orleans and, upon learning of their father’s death and their mother’s hospitalization, could not travel the more than 100 miles to New Roads because most roads in south Louisiana were shut down due to the weather.

“I tried to call them all day yesterday to check on them and never got an answer,” Wanda Curly, the couple’s daughter, told the Advocate. “I knew the weather was bad, and I knew they couldn’t do a lot for themselves.”

The temperature in the house was about 20 degrees when deputies got there, Pointe Coupee Chief Deputy Coroner Joe Gannon said. Maker died of hypothermia. 

Gannon said he believes Maker’s wife would have succumbed to the cold if the couple’s neighbor had not sought help.

“She would have been next, I think,” Gannon said

Maker’s wife told deputies that she heard her husband fall in their living room around midnight, but could not check on him because she could not get out of bed on her own, the newspaper reported. 

Curly said her parents moved to New Roads after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She and her siblings tried in vain to get them to relocate to New Orleans over the years, but the couple, who were together for more than 60 years, valued their independence. 

She said her mother would have to move to the city under this week’s tragic circumstances.

“She doesn’t have a choice now,” Curly said. “She can’t stay there by herself.”

Super blue blood moon eclipse: What you need to know

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:45 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 4:45 AM

How To Photograph Super Moons And Other Cosmic Events

super blue blood moon? Yes!

It is happening on the last day of this month. A blue moon typically gets its name when it occurs as the second of two full moons in one calendar month.

>> ‘Potentially hazardous' monster asteroid will fly close to Earth

But something very special will happen to the moon on this date. The full moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow during the early morning of Jan. 31 to give us a total lunar eclipse. During the time of the total eclipse, the moon will appear reddish in color, which is where it gets to be called a “blood moon.” Totality, when the moon will be entirely inside the Earth’s dark umbral shadow, will last a bit more than 1 1/4 hours.

The Jan. 31 full moon is also the third in a series of three straight full moon supermoons – that is, super-close full moons. It’s the first of two blue moons in 2018. So it’s not just a lunar eclipse, or a blue moon, or a supermoon. It’s all three – a super blue moon eclipse.

Is it the first blue moon total eclipse in 150 years in America.

>> Read more trending news 

The eclipse will get underway at 6:48 a.m. EST/3:48 a.m. PST Jan. 31. You’ll have to be up high with a good view of the western horizon to see the eclipse when it is total, as the moon will be setting as the eclipse reaches totality.

Those in the western United States will be able to view the full eclipse. But don’t let the setting moon stop you from getting to see a good part of the eclipse. It still should be a neat sight early in the morning if skies are clear and it is not too cold.

– Eric Elwell is WHIO-TV's chief meteorologist. Contact him at eric.elwell@coxinc.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Police: Man crashed car in icy river, left girlfriend to drown

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 10:20 AM

Jacob Garrett
Burlington City Police Department
Jacob Garrett(Burlington City Police Department)

A New Jersey man has been charged in connection with his girlfriend’s death after police say he left her to drown following a crash in the Delaware River.

Jacob T. Garrett, 24, of Burlington City, is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, causing a death while driving with a suspended license and endangering an injured victim, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. He is being held in the Burlington County Jail. 

Stephanie White, 23, of Burlington City, was killed in the crash.

Burlington City police investigators said that Garrett was speeding around 1 p.m. Sunday when his vehicle struck a parked minivan and went over a river wall into the water. The front end of the car broke through the ice on the surface and the vehicle became submerged.

Bystanders told detectives that they found Garrett standing on the roof of the car, yelling, “Help my girlfriend.” Then he fled the scene on foot.

“He left his girlfriend in the water to die,” Burlington City police Capt. John Fine told NBC New York

>> Read more trending news

Videos from the scene, including one obtained by NJ.com, show firefighters working to extract White from the car, a Ford Taurus. They had to go in through the rear window of the Taurus, which jutted from the icy surface of the river. 

One video, which can be found here, shows the entire rescue, including the moment when rescuers pulled White’s body from the car. 

First responders found White in the passenger seat, her seat belt still on, prosecutors said in a news release. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. 

A police K-9 officer tracked Garrett from the river to a nearby light rail platform, officials said. Investigators had the train he was on stopped at the next station, where he was taken into custody.

Garrett was soaking wet when he was found, NBC New York reported

White’s friends and family mourned her on social media. Her mother, Ina White, posted a video tribute someone made in her daughter’s memory.

“Love and miss my daughter. My heart is broken,” White wrote. “Thank you for this tribute. I'll hold it dear to my heart always.”

“I love you, sis, Steph Birdy White. Words can't even explain,” another woman wrote. “You meant everything to me . You had a big heart inside and out. I miss you and you will never be forgotten.”

A GoFundMe page established by White’s aunt to help pay for her funeral expenses described the young woman as “loving, kind, soft spoken, (a) hard worker and loved by all that knew her.”

“She had so much innocence in her presence, and always smiled when she greet(ed) you,” Rosie White wrote about her niece. “Her mother can not financially afford funeral expenses for this, and any amount will help with burial costs.”

Stephanie White’s wishes were to be buried next to her grandmother in Maplewood Cemetery in Freehold, where she grew up.

The case against Garrett remains under investigation, and additional charges may be filed, prosecutors said. 

NJ.com reported that Garrett has two previous criminal convictions, including a 2016 conviction of criminal sexual contact. He also served 93 days in jail, and received two years’ probation, the year before for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. 

Details of those crimes were not immediately available.