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Valedictorian's mic is cut off as she starts to mention alleged sexual assault on campus

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By Lily Lieberman

Courtesy Lulabel Seitz/ABC News (PETATLUMA, Calif.) — A high school valedictorian was abruptly cut off mid-speech by school administrators just as she was about to mention alleged sexual assaults on campus and how the school allegedly failed to take victims’ accounts seriously.

Lulabel Seitz, 17, was silenced during her graduation speech when she says administrators from Petaluma High School realized she was about to talk about alleged assaults — including one against her — and the treatment of victims.

Seitz, who will be attending Stanford University in the fall and double-majoring in applied mathematics and economics, said she wasn’t going to raise the issues — until administrators specifically told to keep it out of her speech.

“They made all these rules to prevent me from speaking,” Seitz said. “So I decided to use the opportunity to bring it up.”

Even before graduation, Seitz said officials from the school were putting pressure on her to avoid any mention of the alleged assaults. She said she was pulled out of her last class in high school to make sure she got the message.

“They told me to be quiet, told me I can’t talk about it,” she said. “I realized that this is a big injustice and needs to be spoken about.”

So about four minutes into her speech last Saturday, just as she was about to mention the alleged assaults, Seitz said administrators cut the mic.

Some in the audience at the outdoor graduation ceremony chanted, “Let her speak!”

Undeterred, Seitz kept going.

“I just finished my speech without a microphone,” she said.

Seitz later recorded her full speech and published it on YouTube. The video, which shows the moment she was cut off while speaking at graduation, had been viewed more than 45,000 times as of Saturday afternoon.

Seitz added that she wasn’t surprised by the school’s alleged attempt to keep her quiet.

“This is what they’ve been doing,” she said of the school. “I thought that maybe for once, they would let a student speak up.”

ABC News reached out to Petaluma High School but did not immediately hear back. The Petaluma City Schools, however, provided a statement.

“Administrators and staff in Petaluma City Schools care deeply about the safety and well being of our students. Due to student privacy issues, we cannot and should not respond with specific information. We can say that when issues of sexual assault come to our attention, local law enforcement has initial jurisdiction and determines the course of action,” the school district said.

“If an alleged event happens off campus or on, we work to support our students with appropriate discipline, extensive counseling, and whatever measures we can take to protect our students while they are in our learning environment,” the statement said.

Seitz said she emailed the superintendent of the district, Gary Callahan, but had not heard back as of Saturday afternoon.

One of the alleged assaults Seitz planned to bring up during her speech was an attack she says happened to her last fall. She said a student assaulted her on school grounds.

But administrators didn’t suspend or expel the student, she said, and instead encouraged her to drop it.

“They told me not to speak about it,” she said.

She said the incident was reported to police and the student, whom she didn’t name, was arrested.

ABC News reached out to the Petaluma Police Department to confirm the incident and arrest but not did immediately hear back.

Still, Seitz said throughout the process, administrators appeared to want to protect themselves, and not students.

“Throughout my whole case, the administrators told me their jobs were on the line,” she said. “They put their jobs before students, which is not how it should be.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Justify leads wire to wire at Belmont to win the Triple Crown

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By Lily Lieberman

Rob Carr/Getty Images(ELMONT, N.Y.) — Justify charged out of the gate and never gave up the lead, powering his way to victory at the Belmont Stakes to become just the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown.

The colt was briefly challenged in the final turn, but down the stretch jockey Mike Smith let him use his strength to run away from the field. Gronkowski finished second, 1 3/4 lengths back, and Hofburg was third.

Justify’s victory made Bob Baffert just the second trainer to win the Triple Crown twice. He previously won in 2015 with American Pharoah, the colt that ended a 37-year drought.

With the win, Justify improved to 6-0 in a career that began in February, making him one of the rare Triple Crown winners not to race as a 2-year-old.

Smith, at 52, is the oldest jockey to win the Triple Crown.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner went off a 4/5 favorite for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont, the longest and most grueling of the three-race series. He paid $3.60 for the win, $3.50 to place and $2.80 to show.

He’d won the first two legs of the Triple Crown on sloppy tracks, charging to a 2 1/2-length victory in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby on May 5, and then pulling out a a half-length win in the 1 3/16-mile Preakness on May 19.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Sports News


Man charged after 31 active pipe bombs found

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By Eric Mollo

Richmond County Sheriff’s Office(NEW YORK) — A North Carolina man was charged with manufacturing weapons of mass destruction after 31 active pipe bombs were discovered in the woods in Person County, officials said.

Randall Allan Lee, 47, was arrested by the Person County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday after officers, acting on a tip, found explosive materials stuffed inside PVC-style pipes, the sheriff said in a press release. The Durham Bomb Squad assessed and neutralized the bombs, according to the release.

Person County is in north central North Carolina. Its county seat, Roxboro, is about 30 miles northof Durham.

Lee was charged with 31 counts of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. His next scheduled court appearance is July 19, according to online court records..

The Person County Sheriff said he did not believe it was an act of terrorism, according to ABC affiliate WTVD.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


These are the animal attacks that happened this week

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By Eric Mollo

moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — As the weather warms and the official start to summer approaches, people are moving outdoors to spend their leisure time interacting with nature and wildlife.

For some, the wildlife interaction has been a bit too close for comfort as animals lash out and cause injuries or even death.

Here are the animal attacks that occurred this past week:

Missing woman believed to be dead after she was bitten by an alligator

A missing woman is believed to have died after she was bitten by an alligator, according to Florida wildlife officials.

The woman had been walking two dogs at the Silver Lakes Rotary Nature Park in Davie, Florida, a witness told authorities. Two dogs were found on the scene, and one of the dogs was injured, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement.

A 12-foot alligator was removed from the lake by a trapper contracted by the FWC. A necropsy on the reptile indicates that it had bitten the woman, officials said.

3 visitors attacked in less than a week at Yellowstone National Park

Three people were attacked by animals at Yellowstone National Park in separate incidents over a four-day period, according to the National Park Service.

The first incident occurred on Sunday, when a 51-year-old employee at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel was attacked by a mother elk protecting her calf, who was about 20 feet away and hidden by cars. The woman was airlifted to a nearby trauma center for be treated for severe injuries.

Another woman was attacked at the hotel on Tuesday as she was walking between two cabins. When the 53-year-old Texas woman spotted the mother elk and calf against a wall, she tried to back away, but the elk pursued her and struck her in the head and torso.

Calving season is causing elk mothers to act aggressively as they protect their newborns and hide them near buildings or cars, park experts said. It is unknown whether the same elk was involved in both attacks.

On Wednesday, a woman was gored by a bison bull after she and a group of people got within 15 feet of it while walking along a boardwalk. The California woman suffered injuries to her hip after the bison became agitated and charged at the crowd. She was transported to a nearby hospital in good condition.

Park officials instructed visitors to give animals space, recommending they stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from all other animals, including bison and elk, officials said.

Pet monkey attacks Home Depot worker in Florida

A pet monkey attacked a Home Depot employee in Okeechobee, Florida, after escaping from its owner’s truck.

The spider monkey, whose name is Spanky, was on a leash but somehow managed to get out of vehicle, authorities said.

The 50-year-old victim was in the break room when she heard her coworkers yelling that there was a monkey on the loose, but she thought it was a joke.

When the woman grabbed onto Spanky’s leash, it climbed her back and bit her twice. She then grabbed its leash again to look for the owner, but when the sliding glass door to the entrance opened, the monkey got scared and bit her arm and hand and then scratched her face.

Family members of Spanky’s owner told ABC News the monkey had gone to Home Depot numerous times and usually goes inside with her, describing Spanky as “smart” and “like a family member.”

Man recovering after bitten by rattlesnake he just decapitated

A Texas man nearly died after he was bitten by a rattlesnake he had just killed, ABC Corpus Christi affiliate KIII reported.

On May 27, man and his wife were doing yard work at their home when they spotted a 4-foot rattlesnake lurking nearby.

He then quickly grabbed a shovel and severed the snake’s head. But, when he went to pick it up to dispose of it, the snake’s fangs clamped onto his hand, releasing all of its venom.

The man immediately began experiencing seizures, loss of vision and internal bleeding, and he was airlifted to the hospital after his wife drove him to meet up with the ambulance. A photo from the incident shows that his hand had swelled up considerably and was covered in dark purple bruises.

Doctors initially told the man’s wife that he may not make it. He was administered 26 doses of the expensive anti-venom, when a typical snakebite victim only requires two to four doses.

The man is in stable condition, but he is still experiencing weak kidney function.

Feral peacocks are attacking their own reflection

Feral peacocks in Canada may have yet to attack any people, but they are lashing out at shiny cars.

In one Vancouver neighborhood, the peacocks have been coming across their own reflections on car doors and then using their beaks to attack them, CTV reported.

Video posted to Twitter shows a peacock checking out its reflection in the door of a dark-colored Ford Mustang.

“With the dark-coloured cars, they can see their reflection fairly clearly, so they mistake that as another peacock and have at it,” Surrey resident Ryan Cragg told CTV Vancouver on Saturday.

About 150 peacocks live in the area and have been there for about a decade, CTV reported. A resident used to farm the colorful birds when the neighborhood was developed, and they remained after the farmer moved away.

One resident was fined $1,000 last month for illegally moving a peacock nesting tree. He told CTV that at least 40 birds were going up on his roof every night.

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Source:: National News


Justify aiming for Triple Crown this weekend, guided by trainer who won it all 3 years ago

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By Eric Mollo

Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — With the Belmont Stakes horse race slated for Saturday, the heavily favored Justify is looking to be the second Triple Crown winner in three years.

The 3-year-old colt is a 4/5 favorite to win, according to Las Vegas odds, after impressive victories leading up to the event.

A win for Justify would be Bob Baffert’s second as a trainer. He trained American Pharoah in 2015 when the horse won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes in Baltimore and Belmont Stakes in New York after a 37-year Triple Crown dry spell for thoroughbred horse racing.

Justify didn’t start racing until turning 3 years old, becoming the first horse in over a century to win the Kentucky that didn’t race as a 2-year-old.

The horse’s first victory at the Santa Anita Park in California a few months ago convinced Baffert that he might be training a champion.

Justify had to win the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. He edged out Bolt d’Oro, which was his ticket to the Kentucky Derby.

Justify dominated the Derby last month but won the Preakness in a closer race two weeks later.

Still, Baffert sees similarities between American Pharoah and Justify, he told the AP.

Their strides and running styles are comparable, Baffert said, adding that they both had similar struggles in their races leading up to the Belmont event.

“They’re two different type of horses, Pharoah and this guy,” Baffert told the AP after Justify won the Preakness. “I think I see a lot of resemblance in these two, the way they move.

“When I worked him after the Preakness, American Pharoah, when he would breathe, he was like he was a machine. And this horse is getting there.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: Sports News


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