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Storm system moves along Mid-Atlantic coast as 2nd storm impacts West

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — A coastal storm system is moving along the Mid-Atlantic coastline this morning, bringing several weather hazards on all sides of the system from the Gulf Coast through New England.

Strong storms from the Florida panhandle through parts of the Carolinas will fizzle out as we continue through Saturday morning with several tornado warnings issued for parts of central and northern Florida.

Heavy rain and downpours are impacting states from the Midwest through portions of New England, bringing the threat for flooding, mainly in the Northeast.

Alerts are in place across 10 states this morning from Delaware to Maine. Flooding will be a concern through the weekend especially along coastal areas and in New England areas where partially frozen ground will make it difficult for water to drain.

Winter weather advisories are posted for portions of the Eastern Great Lakes as lake effect snow bands are expected to set up through the weekend with 6 or more inches of localized snow expected in some areas.

Wind gusts topping 40 mph are expected through Saturday and into Sunday for coastal Cape Cod and The Islands.

By Saturday evening, the center of the system moves into New England, with most of the heavy rain pushing offshore. We’ll see heavy rain continue into Upstate New York, east of the freezing line.

Further west, an icy mix may occur along the freezing line with snow expected further west in an area stretching from Western Pennsylvania north through New York state.

By Sunday morning, the storm moves offshore with lake effect snow bands setting up for the Eastern Great Lakes and portions of interior New England. Windy conditions develop through Saturday and into Sunday for much of the Northeast, with gusts between 25-35 mph expected.

After the storm leaves the area Sunday evening, we are expecting rain totals of a few inches, with higher amounts along the New England coastline.

For snow, 3-6 inches can be expected in typical lake effect zones, with some localized amounts topping 6 inches as we head through Sunday night.

In the meantime, a second storm system is impacting the western states this morning with heavy mountain snow occurring in the Rockies and High Plains.

Weather alerts are in effect this morning for 9 states across the Western U.S. This system will continue to bring heavy mountain snow across portions of the Rockies, especially in Colorado where 1-3 feet of snow is expected in high elevations through the weekend.

There is also a high avalanche risk in effect for portions of the Colorado Rockies through the weekend.

By Sunday afternoon, this system moves into the Central Plains, bringing the threat for snow and ice on the northern side of the system, and rain/storms developing on the eastern side of the system.

By Monday morning, a long line of heavy rain and stormy weather will set up from Arkansas through West Virginia. A bit further north, we’ll see some additional wintry weather impact southern Pennsylvanian and perhaps parts of New Jersey as the storm continues to track northeast through the beginning of the work week.

Finally, a dangerous swell in the Pacific is impacting parts of the West Coast this morning with wave heights and breakers over 20 feet high expected through early Sunday morning.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

New Orleans city government hit with cyberattack

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City of New Orleans(NEW ORLEANS) — The computer network that handles governmental operations for the city of New Orleans was shut down Friday by a cyberattack, city officials say.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell signed a declaration of emergency for the city after a ransomware attack was detected by staffers at city hall Friday morning.

The perpetrators of the attack, who had not been identified, made no demands in conjunction with the attack, Cantrell said at a Friday afternoon press conference.

Among those services taken offline was the city’s website at nolo.gov.
 
911 service and computer-aided dispatch have not been affected by the attack, said New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Ferguson.

“The only difference between now and what we were doing yesterday is that we’re now documenting our reports manually,” he said. “Other than that, services remain the same, response times remain the same.”

Officials were working with cybersecurity experts from the Louisiana State Police, FBI, Louisiana National Guard, and United States Secret Service to perform a forensic and technical cyber-investigation into the attack, the mayor said.

Cantrell said that, to her knowledge, no city information was compromised in the incident. The attack was similar to a recent cyberattack that occurred on the state level, she said.

Suspicious activity in the form of phishing emails and other malware was initially detected at around 5 a.m. Friday, with increased activity detected at around 8 a.m., officials said. Officials determined between 11-11:30 a.m. that the attack had compromised the network, at which point city hall employees were instructed over the building’s public address system to shut down and unplug their computers.

No city employee had reported clicking on malware to precipitate the attack, officials said, although authorities were still investigating how the attack occurred.

Collin Arnold, the city’s director of homeland security, said that the city was well-prepared for this kind of incident, as a result of recent hurricane disasters.

“We can operate without internet, without the city network,” he said. “It makes it obviously more difficult, but from a public safety standpoint … we’ve trained to do that, because of hurricane season.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Starbucks apologizes after 2 sheriff's deputies say servers ignored them

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iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Starbucks is in the spotlight again for alleged mistreatment of law enforcement officers.

The Riverside County, California, sheriff’s department claims that two of its deputies were refused service at a Starbucks location on Thursday night.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco tweeted late Friday, “The anti police culture repeatedly displayed by Starbucks employees must end.”

The incident comes two weeks after an Oklahoma police officer’s Starbucks order had the name “Pig” printed on one of the cups. Starbucks fired the worker it says put the offensive word on the cup, and apologized to law enforcement.

“This language is offensive to all law enforcement and is not representative of the deep appreciation we have for police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe,” the company said in a statement following the incident.

When contacted about Thursday night’s incident in Riverside County, a Starbucks representative told ABC News that the two California deputies were in uniform when they visited the Starbucks at around 11 p.m., and were ignored by workers for about five minutes.

“There is simply no excuse for how the two deputies were ignored,” said Starbucks spokesperson Reggie Borges. “We’re deeply sorry for that.”

The company contends the deputies were not refused service, but that employees were simply not attentive. Starbucks is launching an investigation into the incident to better understand if the deputies were intentionally ignored by the employees.

While the investigation is underway, the employees who were on duty are not being scheduled to work. Starbucks leadership will travel to the location to fully understand what unfolded, company representatives said.

Starbucks officials also said they have reached out to Sheriff Bianco to apologize.

“We really want to connect with the two deputies, apologize directly, and hear their stories,” explained Borges. “We take full responsibility for any intentional or unintentional disrespect to law enforcement.”

Starbucks says it is a violation of policy to not serve a customer for such a long period of time.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Cowboys assist in the arrest of an alleged carjacking suspect in Las Vegas

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Cayden Cox(LAS VEGAS) — A Las Vegas “cowboy arrest” caught on video is going viral after the footage captured the moment several cowboys on horses yelled and threatened to lasso a man who was suspected of a carjacking.

The ordeal began when the Las Vegas Metro Police Department spotted a reportedly stolen car and attempted to stop it, according to ABC station KTNV in Las Vegas. The three people in the stolen car bolted out to escape but were met with the ropers on their horses.

“I noticed a helicopter flying in a circle right about us and then that’s when I saw all the cop cars hauling, but I started kind of looking around and sure as heck I saw a guy running through the stalls and I yelled, ‘There he is!’ Cayden Cox, a cowboy and professional cattle roper, told ABC News. “So I turned my horse around and ran as fast as I could over there and about 30 other cowboys followed me.”

“Right when I got to him, the guy just gave up and held his hands up and he was looking around, and right when I wanted to rope him, another cowboy on foot ran up behind him and tackled him,” he said.

The cowboys stayed on the suspect until police arrived to arrest him, and the two others involved in the carjacking, KTNV reported. Las Vegas police told the station that it took all three people into custody.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Victim's remains still inside Hard Rock Hotel 2 months after partial collapse

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iStock(NEW ORLEANS) — Two months after the Hard Rock Hotel partially collapsed, the family of one of the victims whose body remains trapped inside is still looking for closure.

Quinnyon Wimberly, 36, died in the collapse of the under-construction hotel in downtown New Orleans on Oct. 12. He was one of three construction workers who were killed.

Though crews initially hoped to recover his body, they have since changed course and told the family they would have to demolish the building with Wimberly’s body inside.

The plans for the demolition are not expected to begin until some months into 2020, the city’s Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnel told reporters Thursday, according to ABC New Orleans affiliate WGNO.

“It’s a wound that won’t heal,” Wimberly’s brother, Frank Wimberly, told ABC News in a telephone interview Friday. “Two months, to step back in front of that building, it brings it all back.”

He said his family hasn’t been given a definitive date as to when the demolition is expected to happen, but was told that rescue workers would try to remove the debris and concrete that collapsed on Wimberly so they can extract the body from the building in one piece.

Crews are expected to begin stabilizing the structure next week in hopes that they can safely recover the bodies after the demolition and obtain evidence to help determine the cause of the collapse, according to WGNO.

The official cause of the collapse is unknown, but numerous lawsuits have been filed against the construction companies involved for alleged negligence.

The New Orleans mayor’s office did not respond to ABC News for comment regarding the demolition timeline.

However, in a previous statement, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said that her “focus and priority remains recovery of the remains, and securing closure for the victim’s families — with whom she has been in close contact. Our public safety team continues working with engineers to evaluate the next steps on the site.”

For Quinnyon Wimberly’s family, though, they remain cautiously optimistic about whatever those next steps are.

“I guess I have to see it to believe it,” his brother said of the city’s hope to bring his brother out in one piece. “We’ve had so many setbacks.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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