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Houston airport at full ground stop as 'nightmare' rainfall, flash flooding wreak havoc in Texas

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ABC News(NEW YORK) —  Dangerous flash flooding is wreaking havoc in Texas with the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda dumping massive amounts of rain overnight and into the morning.

The severe weather prompted a full ground stop at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Thursday morning.

In Beaumont — between Houston and Lake Charles, La. — over 250 high-water rescue requests were called into 911, the local police department said Thursday morning.

“Please shelter in place and seek high ground,” the Beaumont police tweeted. “DO NOT drive.”

Rainfall rates up to 5 inches per hour were reported overnight near Beaumont, Texas, dumping the worst flooding since Hurricane Harvey two years ago.

More than 33 inches of rain has fallen in the town of Hamshire, Texas, southwest of Beaumont, since Tuesday — and over 25 inches of that rainfall was overnight.

In the small town of Winnie, Texas, the conditions are “horrible,” with flooding making roads impassable, Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told ABC News as the rain pounded down Thursday.

The water has “run out of places to go,” the sheriff said.

Some homes have four to five feet of water inside, Hawthorne said, and dump trucks and air boats were being used to get people to safety. The sheriff believed about 45 people still needed to be rescued as of Thursday morning.

The local hospital stayed open but about one dozen patients were evacuated, he added.

“Until it quits raining, it’s gonna be a nightmare,” the sheriff said.

The threat isn’t over. What’s left of Tropical Storm Imelda is still sitting over eastern Texas and western Louisiana, bringing more rain Thursday morning.

The remains of Imelda will then slowly track north on Thursday spreading rain into northeastern Texas, northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas and Oklahoma.

As much as 10 inches of additional rain is expected in eastern Texas and more flash flooding is expected in the next 24 hours.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Gilroy Garlic Festival will come back next year in spite of deadly shooting in July

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albertc111/iStock(GILROY, Calif.) — The deadly shooting at a California garlic festival is not going to stop the tradition from continuing next year.

The organizer of the Gilroy Garlic Festival announced that they are planning to hold the festival again in 2020 in spite of the July 2019 shooting that left three dead and more than a dozen injured.

“There’s still a process of healing and grieving and that’s going to go on a long time, and it’s different for everyone. But the outpouring of support and feedback from people who want to be here next year, want us to be here next year is undeniable and we want to honor that,” festival executive director Brian Bowe told ABC affiliate KSBW on Tuesday.

The festival’s website also reiterated their mission to bring the 42nd year of the event back to the community next year.

“The Gilroy Garlic Festival has always brought our local community together and we are united in honoring those whose lives were lost and forever changed by the tragedy on July 28, 2019,” the statement on the website reads.

“We are deeply grateful for the ongoing support of our volunteers, vendors, and visitors as we look forward to Gilroy Garlic Festival 42 in July 2020. With your help, we can continue our mission of providing vital funding support for over 140 local charities and non-profit organizations — while celebrating all that is good in our community,” the statement continued.

The three people who were killed in the July shooting were identified as Trevor Irby, 25, Keyla Salazar, 13, and Stephen Romero, 6.

The alleged gunman was fatally shot by officers who arrived on scene.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Mother of woman missing for 13 years says she's thankful for discovery of remains

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MicroStockHub/iStock(COLUMBIA, Mo.) — The mother of a Missouri woman who has been missing for more than a decade says she’s sure that human remains found by police in a landfill Wednesday are that of her daughter.

Authorities announced Wednesday that they had found remains that were consistent with those of Megan Shultz, who disappeared from her Columbia, Missouri, home in 2006.

Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones, whose department has been pursuing the case for 13 years, said at a news conference Wednesday that “the remains and evidence located with the remains are consistent with what we expected to find when looking for Megan.”

Jones said that DNA testing to prove a match would take some time — but Shultz’ mother Debra told Missouri TV station KOMU-TV 8 that she’s confident the remains are her daughter’s.

“She was dressed exactly the way that I described her and I understand that the body is somewhat intact,” Debra Shultz said.

Megan Shultz’s disappearance confounded investigators for more than a decade after her husband, Keith Comfort, told authorities that the 24-year-old walked out of their apartment after an argument at around 1 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2006, and never returned.

Police did not consider Comfort a suspect in her disappearance, and he subsequently moved to Wisconsin to raise the couple’s young daughter.

In the ensuing 13 years, police followed tips from people who said they had spotted Shultz as far east as Kansas City, but none of them panned out.

The break in the case came last month when, police say, 13 years to the day after reporting Shultz missing, Comfort, now 37, walked into the police station in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and confessed to killing his wife.

According to court documents, Comfort said that he and Shultz had argued, and that he had forced her to the ground and strangled her. After he realized she wasn’t breathing, he put her body in a garbage bag and “threw her into the … dumpster” of their apartment complex, according to KOMU 8.

Armed with that knowledge, Columbia police began a painstaking search of the city landfill to try to recover Shultz’ remains. The dig covered a 14-acre area as officers worked to identify items that were disposed of around the time Shultz went missing, according to Columbia ABC affiliate KMIZ-TV.

“We talked the first day of the landfill, and most of us have children,” Chief Jones said at Wednesday’s press conference. “And none of us, including the city manager, were comfortable with that being the resting place of a child. Somebody’s child was there.”

On Wednesday, police informed Debra Shultz of their discovery.

“I’m still in shock. It’s like ‘Oh my God, my baby will get to come home,” Shultz said.

Comfort is being held in custody on a $1 million bond, according to KMIZ.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Teen arrested in stabbing of boy attacked and filmed by dozens as he bled to death

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WABC-TV(NEW YORK) — An alleged fight over a girl involving over 50 teenagers has left a 16-year-old student dead after being stabbed in the chest and an 18-year-old student charged in his death while many of the other teens took videos of the victim dying rather than helping to save his life.

The fight broke out at around 3:45 p.m. on Monday afternoon outside of a bagel shop in Oceanside, New York close to where the victim, Khaseen Morris, went to high school.

An anonymous witness to the fight who spoke to New York City’s ABC station WABC-TV said that Morris was ambushed by the group.

“There was a bunch of people sitting by the Chinese restaurant … about 15 kids, and then all of a sudden while I was on the phone speaking, eight — seven or eight kids came from the north and targeted certain people that I believe they were looking for,” the man said.

Tyler Flach, 18, from Lido Beach was arrested late Wednesday and charged with murder, according to WABC. He will be arraigned later Thursday. Morris was stabbed in the chest in the attack and later died in hospital.

Police believe that Morris was specifically targeted.

“There’s got to be about 50, 60, 70 kids here,” Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, the commander of the Nassau County Police Homicide Division, told members of the media at a press conference on Tuesday morning. “We have a handful of kids that have come forward who have identified people involved in this.”

“I don’t think anybody here is naive to who is involved in this incident. I think all the players are known to each other,” said Det. Lt. Fitzpatrick.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of Morris’ death is the fact that people filmed him dying rather than helping him after being stabbed.

“He was a person that would help anyone, and no one helped him,” said Keyanna Morris, Khaseen’s sister, to WABC. “He told my mom this is the first time in so long that he’s been so happy because he finally found a school where he could be himself with nobody judging him.”

Meanwhile, the superintendent of Oceanside High School, Dr. Phyllis Harrington, issued a video statement condemning the “senseless act of violence”, imploring parents to monitor their children’s social media activity, and saying that the community would get through this tragedy together.

“The kindness and generosity that you model for your children are what makes our community special. It’s those very values that will bind us together and get us through and keep us strong because we are anchored together by purpose, passion and people,” Harrington said.

Students at Oceanside High School have been grieving all week.

“Students are crying in the hallway,” said Victoria Lizama, a student at the high school who added that most of the students were quiet and not talking.

Det. Lt. Fitzpatrick said police were still looking for more witnesses of the crime to come forward.

Said Fitzpatrick: “Kids stood here and didn’t help Khaseen; they’d rather video this event … They video’d his death instead of helping. So anyone who has video, come forward. Do the right thing for Khaseen.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

One killed, seven injured after tour bus crashes off California highway

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kali9/iStock(SHANDON, Calif.) — At least one person was killed and seven others injured when a tour bus crashed off a California roadway late Wednesday night, authorities said.

The deadly crash occurred not long after the bus departed from a concert venue in the city of Paso Robles, where country and gospel singer Josh Turner performed Wednesday night. The eight people on board the ill-fated bus were part of Turner’s road crew, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), which sent crews to the scene.

Turner and his band were traveling on different buses and were not injured in the incident, Cal Fire said.

The bus veered hundreds of feet off the highway and down a deep embankment near the small town of Shandon, according to the San Luis Obipso Sheriff’s Department.

It’s unclear where the bus was headed or how it crashed.

In addition to the one fatality, five people sustained “moderate” injuries” while two others suffered “major” injuries, Cal Fire said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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