ALLIGATOR DRAGS 2-YR OLD INTO LAGOON

An alligator grabbed a 2-year-old boy and dragged him into a lagoon Tuesday night at a Disney hotel near Orlando as his father desperately tried to save him.

A frantic overnight search to find the boy was unsuccessful, authorities said Wednesday morning, but search efforts will continue with “fresh eyes.”
“This is still a search and rescue operation,” said Jeff Williamson, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. “We are very hopeful. We are hoping for the best.”
Hours after the Tuesday night attack, the toddler was still missing despite a frantic overnight search to find him.
The child was “wading just in the water along the lake’s edge at the time that the alligator attacked,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said.
Parents rush into water to save son
The family of four — parents, the boy and his 4-year-old sister — is on vacation from Nebraska, Demings said. They arrived Sunday.
They watched as the alligator attacked the toddler at the Seven Seas Lagoon.
“The father actually went into the water to wrestle his son from the grips of the alligator,” he said. The father suffered minor scratches on his hand, but was unsuccessful in getting his son back.
The mother also went into the water, trying to find her child, he said.
“The sad reality of it is it’s been several hours and we’re not likely going to recover a live body,” Demings said.
He said there is no record of similar incidents in this particular area.
“Everyone here at the Walt Disney Resort is devastated by this tragic accident,” said Jacquee Wahler, the vice president of the Walt Disney World Resort .
“Our thoughts are with the family. We are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist law enforcement.”
Demings said no reports of nuisance alligators have come in the region recently. The alligator is between 4 and 7 feet long, Demings said, adding he’s unsure of its exact size.

Baby pen was near water
The Reedy Creek Emergency Services call center first received a report about the attack at 9:16 p.m. ET.
The incident occurred on a sandy waterfront area outside the hotel near the Seven Seas Lagoon on the property.
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Witnesses said the family was on the beach and the boy’s 4-year-old sister was in a play pen about 20 to 30 yards from the water on the sand, according to Demings. The toddler was wading in the water nearby.
There are “No Swimming” signs at the lagoon and no one else was in the water at the time of the attack besides the child, Demings said.
This body of water is not for recreational swimming “likely for that very reason,” the reason being alligators.
“This is Florida and it’s not uncommon for alligators to be in bodies of water,” he said.
Declan Salcido, who’s on vacation with relatives from San Jose, California, was coming back from the animal kingdom when the first ambulance arrived just after 9:15 p.m. ET.
He said there are many “No Swimming” signs near the lagoon visible “from any vantage point.”
The search
Authorities have searched for the child for hours and do not plan to stop until he is found or recovered.
Helicopters, sonar, marine units and an alligator trapper are being used in the rescue effort. Divers are on standby.
“We’re not leaving until we recover the child,” Demings said.
A handful of people witnessed the incident and supplied police with information. At least 10 emergency vehicles were on the scene, and the beach had been cordoned off.
Salcido said he saw seven or eight boats searching the waters, including two Disney security boats and pontoons owned by the company to take guests out on the water for fireworks.

When he first arrived, there was only one boat searching near the shore. But more boats rapidly came to assist and have now moved much further away, searching a “wider pattern.”
The Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife is conducting a parallel investigation and is participating in the search. It has deployed an alligator trapper, officer Chad Weber said.
“We’re putting every effort into locating the child and trapping this alligator,” he said. “We’ll be here with them until there’s a resolution.”
A witness told CNN a movie was being screened on the beach that evening.
However, Salcido said that the movie started earlier in the evening and would have been finished by the time the incident occurred.
A helicopter with a search light scoured the lagoon as a handful of Disney employees ushered people away from the sidewalks overlooking the beach.

ORLANDO NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING KILLS 50; GUNMAN HAD PRAISED ISIS

At Least 50 Dead in Orlando Gay Club Shooting, Suspect Pledged Allegiance to ISIS, Officials Say
By DAVID CAPLAN MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN
Jun 12, 2016, 11:54 PM ET
PHOTO: Investigators from the office of the medical examiner investigate on the west side of Pulse nightclub where a gunman opened fire on Sunday morning, June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Fla.Doug Clifford/The Tampa Bay Times via AP
WATCH Timeline of the Worst Mass Shooting in US History
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The massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub early this morning has been described as a “domestic terror incident,” with at least 50 dead and 53 injured, officials said, making it the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil since the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

The shooter has been identified by officials as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County, Florida, a U.S.-born citizen with Afghani parents. After the shooting began, he called 911 to pledge his allegiance to ISIS, according to law enforcement officials.

ISIS supporters have cheered the massacre online and an ISIS communique referred to the shooter as an ISIS “fighter,” but there’s no evidence that ISIS directed or had prior knowledge of the attack, terrorism observers told ABC News.

SLIDESHOW: Orlando Nightclub Massacre
Orlando LGBT Community Struggles to Comprehend Shooting That Left at Least 50 Dead
Suspect Pledged Allegiance to ISIS, Officials Say
Officials announced at a morning news conference that the death toll of the attack had risen to 50 dead, more than doubling what had been reported earlier. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer called today “the most difficult day in the history of Orlando” at news conference this afternoon.

“At this time we’re looking at all angles right now,” an FBI official said. “We do have suggestions that that individual may have leanings towards that, that particular ideology. But right now we can’t say definitively, so we’re still running everything around.”

The FBI also said Mateen “was organized and well-prepared,” adding “he is not from this area.”

Mateen’s parents were born in Afghanistan, and he was “on the radar” of U.S. officials for some time, but was not the target of a specific investigation, law enforcement officials told ABC News.

A police officer working at the club exchanged fire with Mateen outside of the club at 2:02 a.m., officials said at the news conference. Mateen then entered the club.

It turned into a hostage situation shortly thereafter, when Mateen took hostages. He was armed with an assault rifle, handgun and “some kind of device on him,” officials said.

At approximately 5 a.m., the SWAT team made the decision to rescue the hostages, officials said. The shooter was killed in a gunfight with those officers. Eleven Orlando Police officers exchanged gunfire with the shooter, according to an FBI spokesman.

There were about 320 people inside the club at the time of the shootings, officials said.

Then at 5:53 a.m. Orlando police tweeted, “The shooter inside the nightclub is dead,” referring to Pulse Nightclub, which bills itself on its website as “Orlando’s Premier Gay Night Club.”

“This can be classified as a domestic terror incident,” Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at the news conference.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating this morning’s shooting as “an act of terrorism.” It said it will determine whether it is “domestic or international” terrorism.

In a statement issued around 9 a.m., the White House said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims. The President asked to receive regular updates as the FBI, and other federal officials, work with the Orlando Police to gather more information, and directed that the federal government provide any assistance necessary to pursue the investigation and support the community.”

PHOTO: Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016.AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Orlando Police officers direct family members away from a multiple shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016.more +
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said at a news conference earlier in the day that “many lives were lost.” Orlando Chief of Police John Mina added that “approximately” 20 people we killed, and “at least 42 people” were transported to various hospitals. In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos following the news conference, Dyer clarified the initial figure, saying the number of dead was “probably in excess of 20 dead.”

Orlando Regional Medical Center, located near the nightclub, said it received “several gunshot victims,” in a statement released at 5 a.m.

The statement read, “Orlando Regional Medical Center was placed on lockdown around 2:00 a.m. after receiving several gunshot victims. Only essential workers are being allowed access into the building. Out of an abundance of caution, Arnold Palmer Hospital and Winnie Palmer Hospital have also been placed on lockdown.”

The hospital, as well as two other area hospitals remained in lockdown, as of 8 a.m. Sunday.

PHOTO: Emergency personnel wait with stretchers at the emergency entrance to Orlando Regional Medical Center hospital for the arrival of patients from the scene of a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack
Emergency personnel wait with stretchers at the emergency entrance to Orlando Regional Medical Center hospital for the arrival of patients from the scene of a fatal shooting at Pulse Orlando nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12, 2016. more +
Word of the situation spread shortly after 2 a.m., when Pulse Nightclub posted on its Facebook page, “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running.”

Police followed up by tweeting, “Shooting at Pulse Nightclub on S Orange. Multiple injuries. Stay away from area.”
Orlando Police tweeted around 4:30 a.m., “This is a fluid scene and we are working on getting you an update.”

The next significant update was at 5:48 a.m., five minutes before announcing the shooter’s death, when police tweeted, “We can confirm this is a mass casualty situation. Support from local/state/federal agencies.”

The FBI was among the agencies at the crime scene, as was the Orlando Fire Department’s bomb squad and hazardous material team.
There was a controlled explosion near the shooting scene, but police said it was caused by a device intended to distract the shooter. Police also said the shooting was not connected to Friday’s fatal shooting, also in Orlando, of “The Voice” singer Christina Grimmie.

Rep. Alan Grayson, of Florida’s 9th District, said during a news conference this morning that the attack was ideologically motivated.

“It’s no coincidence the attack took place where it did and when it did,” he said in reference to the fact that Pulse was a gay nightclub.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott spoke at a news conference this afternoon and asserted that “this is clearly an act of terror” and added that he has declared a state of emergency in Orange County, Florida. The state of emergency ensures the resources that are needed by the city from the state would be made available immediately, the governor said.

Later in the day, President Obama called the Pulse massacre “an act of terror and an act of hate.” He called Mateen “a person filled with hatred.”

He also stressed the resilience of the people in his state. “We’re going to do everything we can to help bring the community together,” he said.

George Stephanopoulos of ABC News interviewed Christine Leinonen, the mother of Christopher Leinonen, a young man who went missing inside of the club at the time of the attack.

“Please, let’s all try to get rid of the hatred and the violence,” she said, sobbing. Leinonen later confirmed to ABC News that her son was among the dead.

GROUP OF 9 BICYCLISTS HIT BY PICKUP TRUCK, 5 KILLED

COOPER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Five bicyclists were killed and four more were hurt Tuesday evening when they were hit by a pickup truck north of Kalamazoo.

The crash happened around 6:35 p.m. in the 5500 block of N. Westnedge Avenue south of F Avenue in Cooper Township. That’s near Markin Glen Park.

Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo said Tuesday night it was treating two of the victims, but did not release any further details about those patients. Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo also said it was treating two patients. One was listed in critical condition and the other in fair condition Tuesday night.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said at a press conference about four hours after the crash that all of the victims were adults and that the survivors all sustained serious injuries. Authorities would not release any further information about any of the victims Tuesday night pending the notification of their family members.

A witness said the bicyclists appeared to be a group that often rides together in the area, but Getting wouldn’t comment on that.

Bicyclists killed in crash in Cooper Township – June 7, 2016View as list Open Gallery
NOT SIZED Cooper Township Westnedge Avenue fatal bicycle crash 060716

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The scene after five bicyclists were killed after being struck b y a pickup truck along Westnedge Avenue in Cooper Township. (June 7, 2016)
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The group of bicyclists was struck by a blue Chevrolet pickup truck as they rode along Westnedge. Witnesses said the truck was driving erratically.

Markus Eberhard said he was leaving Markin Glen Park after fishing when someone shouted at him to watch out. He said the pickup nearly ran over his foot. He said before he could “tell the bikers to move or watch out,” the pickup hit them.

“I saw a bunch of bikes hit the front of his truck and a couple of them flew,” Eberhard said.

“All I heard was a pop and a really big crash noise,” another witness, Arika Kruger, said.

Prosecutor Getting said emergency responders were on scene in about two minutes. Five of the bicyclists were pronounced dead at the scene.

Kruger said she saw four ambulances leave the scene; three had lights on, one had lights and sirens running.

“We didn’t see anybody walk away,” she said. “I pray for these families, I really do, because this is really tragic.”

The pickup was disabled in the crash, Getting said. Kruger, the witness, said its front end sustained heavy damage.

A driver fled on foot after the crash, then was found a short distance away and taken into custody, Getting said. He was described only as a 50-year-old man from West Michigan Tuesday night.

Multiple police and fire agencies remained on the scene for hours after the crash. The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation while the Michigan State Police are handling crash reconstruction.

In the about 30 minutes before the crash, calls came in to the City of Kalamazoo police (at 6:08 p.m.), the sheriff’s department (6:13 p.m.) and Kalamazoo Township police (6:21 p.m.) with concerns about a blue pickup truck, Getting said. Officers were looking for that vehicle, but they had not yet spotted it and were not pursuing it at the time of the crash. The first 911 call about the crash came in at 6:36 p.m.

Getting said he didn’t expect to review the investigation into the crash until Thursday, after which he would determine what, if any, charges were appropriate.

COULD ANOTHER CLINTON BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT?

Hillary Clinton declares victory, and takes California too
Jun 8th 2016, 8:35 BY V.V.B.
Timekeeper

“WE ARE all standing under a glass ceiling right now,” said Hillary Clinton in her victory speech on June 7th at a rally in Brooklyn. “Thanks to you, we have reached a milestone.” Clad in bridal white, she took to the stage shortly after the announcement of her commanding win in the primary election in New Jersey, where she won 63% of the vote compared with 37% for Bernie Sanders, her rival. “Tonight’s victory is not about one person. It belongs to generations of women and men who struggled and sacrificed and made this moment possible.”
As California, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico, and North and South Dakotas went to the polls in the last stretch of the primary-election season, Ms Clinton was finally able to declare herself the first woman to become one of the two major party’s nominee for the presidential election. Later in the evening she won New Mexico, South Dakota and California. She lost North Dakota, a sparsely populated state in the Midwest where Mr Sanders received 64% of the vote, and Montana, where Mr Sanders got 51% of the vote. She graciously congratulated Mr Sanders for generating so much excitement with his campaign and especially for his success with the young. The vigorous debate (between her and Mr Sanders) has been very good for the Democratic Party and for America, she said.

Though New Jersey was the second-most populous state to vote on June 7th, all eyes were still fixed on California, America’s most populous state, with 475 pledged delegates at stake for the Democrats and 175 for the Republican Party. Polling stations had not yet closed in the Golden State when Mrs Clinton gave her victory speech; through a mix of pledged delegates and so-called super-delegates (office bearers), who have come out as her backers, she already had reached the 2,383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination without counting a single Californian delegate. A few hours later she would be even more confident in celebrating her designation as her party’s presumptive nominee. Mrs Clinton won California with a convincing 57% of the vote, compared with 42% for Mr Sanders.

California mattered hugely for both of the Democrats. Until the very last moment Mr Sanders was hoping for an upset, though he had been trailing Mrs Clinton for months; in recent weeks he had caught up, enough to make it look something like a neck-and-neck race. Had he won in California he would have continued to hurt Mrs Clinton by refusing to drop out and diverting her attention from Donald Trump, the Republicans’ apparent nominee, all the way to their party’s convention in Philadelphia at the end of July. With Mr Sanders’s resounding defeats in New Jersey and California, however, he no longer stands any chance of winning the nomination. Still he is not giving up just yet. In his speech in California, which he held in front of a raucous crowd before the state’s results were official, Mr Sanders thanked his supporters for “being part of a political revolution”. He declared that “we will not allow Donald Trump to be president” before launching into familiar themes such as inequality and the “corrupt” campaign-financing system. There wasn’t a hint of conceding defeat: he vowed to soldier on to the next primary, on June 14th in Washington, DC, and to the convention in Philadelphia.

The evening seemed at times like the unofficial kick-off of the general election. In her victory speech, Mrs Clinton said this election was different—and not about the same old fights between Republicans and Democrats. “We are better than this,” she said. “We won’t let this happen to America.” She then launched some robust broadsides against Mr Trump. “Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be president,” she proclaimed. “He’s not just trying to build a wall between America and Mexico, he’s trying to wall off Americans from each other,” she said. “When he says ‘Let’s make America great again’, that is code for ‘Let’s take America backwards’.”

Mr Trump, who is the only candidate still in the race for his party, won all five states where Republicans voted (they weren’t voting in North Dakota) but his victory speech at a golf club in Briarcliff Manor, New York was uncharacteristically subdued. He has been under fire for days from senior Republicans, including Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, after claiming that a Mexican-American judge in a lawsuit involving Trump University was biased against him because of his heritage—and that a Muslim judge might be similarly partial. Mr Ryan called Mr Trump’s remarks “racist”; Mark Kirk, a Republican senator from Illinois, said that he cannot support Mr Trump because he doesn’t have the “temperament” to assume the greatest office in the world. Other senators indicated they may follow Mr Kirk’s lead.

Flanked by his decorative daughter and wife, and reading from a teleprompter, Mr Trump didn’t apologise for his most recent mega-gaffe, but focused on attacking Mrs Clinton. He said she had “turned the State Department into her private hedge fund” and claimed “the Clintons have turned the politics of personal enrichment into an art form for themselves”. He then tried to reach out to the disappointed supporters of the other insurgent candidate, Mr Sanders, deploring how Sandernistas have been “left out in the cold by a rigged system”.

A recent poll by Quinnipiac University found that around three-quarters of Sanders voters would vote for Mrs Clinton in the general election. Judging by how quickly many Republicans have lined up behind Mr Trump once he clinched the nomination, the eventual number might be even higher. Mrs Clinton will need all the support the Sanders fans can give her. The Quinnipiac poll also found that voters by now dislike Mrs Clinton almost as much as they dislike Mr Trump. Those surveyed gave Mrs Clinton a 57% unfavourable rating, with 37% favourable, whereas Mr Trump got only slightly worse ratings, with 59% unfavourable and just 34% favourable.

President Barack Obama called Mrs Clinton on June 7th to congratulate her; he also called Mr Sanders. He will meet Mr Sanders on June 9th, presumably to add his voice to those of the Democratic Party bigwigs who for weeks have been leaning on Mr Sanders to bow out for the sake of party unity. It may be a few days—or much longer. In 2008 Mrs Clinton took four days to suspend her campaign after Mr Obama had been declared the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee.

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