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Dad welcomes leap day daughter on his birthday

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Dignity Health(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) — Like father, like daughter.

Mercy San Juan Medical Center was the site of a one in two million double birthday on Saturday. Camila Peñaloza was due on March 3, according to her mother, Jennifer Rebollar Cortez, and her earlier birth coincided not only with leap day, but also her father’s eighth “leap day” birthday.

Ivan Peñaloza, 32, called this extraordinary shared birthday an unexpected blessing.

“I prayed to God for my little baby girl and now we are going to share this amazing bond for the rest of our lives and I am just so happy,” he said in a statement through the hospital.

Hospital staff presented Camila with a leapfrog outfit and sang happy birthday to her and her father, according to Cortez.

“Having a child is such a special experience already but it has been that much more magical,” she said in a statement.

The odds of parents sharing leap day birthday are one in 2.1 million, according to the hospital.

“We feel incredibly fortunate to share in this special, life-changing moment with this family. Our heartfelt congratulations and we wish them a lifetime of love and happiness with their new bundle of joy,” Michael Korpiel, the president of the Mercy San Juan Medical Center, said in a statement.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Vanessa Bryant 'devastated' over report that photos of crash site were shared: Lawyer

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Donato Sardella/Getty Images for EIF(LOS ANGELES) — Vanessa Bryant is “devastated” over a report that deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department shared graphic photos from the crash scene that killed Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and seven others, her lawyer said in a statement.

Two public safety sources with knowledge of the events told the Los Angeles Times that the sharing of the photos, which included the crash scene and images of the victims’ remains, was a topic among first responders in the days after the crash.

In addition, one source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the allegations, said he saw one of the photos on the phone of another official in a setting that was not related to the crash, the newspaper reported.

The nine victims died on Jan. 26 after the helicopter they were in crashed into a steep hillside in Calabasas while en route to Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy.

Bryant’s attorney, Gary Robb, released a statement early Sunday morning that said the widow is “absolutely devastated” by the allegations.

On the day of the crash, Vanessa Bryant went to the sheriff’s office to request that the area be designated a no-fly zone to protect the scene from photographers, according to the statement.

“This was of critical importance to her as she desired to protect the dignity of all the victims, and their families,” Robb said. “At that time, Sheriff Alex Villanueva assured us all measures would be put in place to protect the families’ privacy, and it is our understanding that he has worked hard to honor those requests.”

Robb described the allegations as “an unspeakable violation of human decency, respect, and of the privacy rights of the victims and their families” and demanded that those involved “face the harshest possible discipline, and that their identities be brought to light, to ensure that the photos are not further disseminated.”

“First responders should be trustworthy,” the statement read. “It is inexcusable and deplorable that some deputies from the Lost Hills Sheriff’s substation, other surrounding substations and LAFD would allegedly breach their duty.”

On Friday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying that an investigation had been launched into the allegations in the report.

“The Sheriff is deeply disturbed at the thought deputies could allegedly engage in such an insensitive act,” the statement read. “A thorough investigation will be conducted by the Department, with the number one priority of protecting the dignity and privacy of the victims and their families.”

Last week, Vanessa Bryant delivered a touching eulogy during the “Celebration of Life” memorial service held for her husband and daughter at the Staples Center, where she shared intimate details about their lives as a family and what she’ll miss most about her loved ones.

“They were so full of joy and adventure,” she said. “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to him together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nani, B.B. and Koko. We’re still the best team.”

On the same day as the memorial, Vanessa Bryant’s attorneys submitted a wrongful death complaint against the helicopter company that operated the flight that killed Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant and seven others.

The Los Angeles County Superior Court will determine whether to officially file the complaint once it has been reviewed.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Heavy rain, strong storms target water-logged South

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Lake Effect snow has ended in the Northeast and temperatures are actually set to trend milder across the eastern U.S. over the next few days.

Attention turns immediately to a complex system developing in the western U.S. and part of this system will track across the country this week and set off yet another widespread heavy rain event in the South.

On Sunday morning, there are some snow showers from Idaho to California with areas of limited visibility and slippery travel. As this storm system starts sliding south today, both precipitation and winds will increase from California to Wyoming.

Winds in the San Francisco Bay area could reach 45 mph today which could cause some downed trees and power lines Sunday.

In Southern California, there is also a small chance of thunderstorms with hail Sunday evening in the lower elevations and winds in the hillsides and mountains of Southern California could gusts up to 45 mph. Light snow will be possible on parts of I-5 through Grapevine and locally up to 6 inches of snow will be possible in southern California.

Locally, up to 14 inches of snow will be possible in parts of Wyoming through Sunday and early Monday and travel on I-80 through southern Wyoming could be affected.

On Monday, a part of this system will move eastward and begin a multi-day heavy rain event for parts of the southern U.S. The first batch of rain will move into parts of the Ohio and Tennessee Valley on Monday with the heaviest rain from Kentucky to northern Alabama. There could also be some strong thunderstorms over this area on Monday night with some gusty winds possible.

On Tuesday, another impulse will sneak in and could cause another round of heavy rains to spread from Texas to Georgia with strong thunderstorms possible again.

Widespread heavy rainfall could bring some flash flooding in the region too and some severe weather will be possible across parts of Texas with damaging winds, large hail and brief tornadoes possible.

On Wednesday, another round of widespread showers and thunderstorms will move into the Deep South and bring additional chances for flash flooding.

There is increasing confidence that the highest rainfall totals this week will be over portions of Mississippi, Alabama and northern Georgia. Portions of Mississippi and Alabama have seen more than a foot above their average year to date rainfall. If the heaviest rain tracks close to some of this region – flash flooding and river flooding could quickly become a concern in the region this week.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

College recruiter fired for lining students up by skin color, 'nappiest hair'

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sshepard/iStock(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) — A college recruiter has been fired after a controversial visit to a prestigious high school after he asked students to line up based on the color of their skin complexion and by who had the “nappiest” hair.

The incident occurred when a college recruiter for Oklahoma Christian University visited Harding Charter Preparatory School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and allegedly told the students it was time to “play a little game,” according to ABC News’ Raleigh station WTVD.

“He barely talked about the school itself,” said Rio Brown, a student who was part of the exercise. “I could already see through his BS basically … he wasn’t really knowledgeable how to speak to people even in a diverse school.”

The recruiter, who is white, then asked the high school juniors in attendance to self-organize into a line up from darkest skin complexion to lightest skin complexion.

It didn’t stop there.

“He told us to line up. Nappiest hair in the back and straightest hair in the front,” said Korey Todd, another student who was at the assembly.

“That is when I felt uncomfortable. I was like ‘okay, this isn’t right,’” Brown continued.

The students weren’t the only ones who were offended.

“Teachers left,” said Todd. “They were crying, and they were offended. Their faces just look disgusted. I know they had a talk with him after, like, ‘That’s not okay.'”

Oklahoma Christian University took swift action against the recruiter once they learned of the incident, according to a statement released by the school.

“The OC admissions counselor who visited Harding Charter Preparatory Academy on Monday is no longer an Oklahoma Christian University employee,” the statement read. “OC admissions leadership did not approve the inappropriate activity in advance and has communicated closely with Harding administration since the visit. Admissions staff are scheduled to visit the academy Monday to apologize to Harding students and staff on behalf of the University.”

The recruiter has not been identified by either Harding Charter Preparatory School or Oklahoma Christian University.

Harding Charter’s principal, Steven Stefanick, also released a statement, saying the school condemns the recruiter’s behavior.

“Our community, from its inception, has valued diversity, inclusion, and a safe and supportive learning environment. We will continue to do so,” the statement read.

“It is just horrible,” said Todd. “I hope it is a wakeup call because many people at the school need to hear how we feel.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

New York City set to remove iconic payphones off the streets

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Anatoleya/iStock(NEW YORK) — New York City is reportedly planning to remove all of the last remaining public payphones from the city’s streets.

About 30 payphones will be removed from Hell’s Kitchen by the end of the month, according to ABC News’ New York City station WABC, followed by an estimated 3,000 more across the city’s five boroughs in the coming months.

Before payphones, phone booths used to be ubiquitous around New York City but faded from popularity — and functionality — with the invention and use of the smart phone.

There are currently only four phone booths left in New York City, according to the New York Times — all of them on the Upper West Side. The last remaining booths can all be found on West End Avenue on 66th Street, 90th Street, 100th Street and 101st Street.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson spoke to Gothamist about the plans to remove payphones around the city on Feb. 28.

“My office has received numerous community complaints from local residents about these antiquated pay phones, which present public safety and quality of life issues,” Johnson said. “Additionally, they take up sorely needed sidewalk space that could better serve people with disabilities, families with strollers and ease sidewalk congestion.”

Some of the payphones will be replaced with Link NYC internet kiosks which provide free internet and phone calls to the public.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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