National News

Jefferson County, MS Sheriff's Office via FacebookBY: IVAN PEREIRA, ABC NEWS

(NEW YORK) -- Three men have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Mississippi Highway Patrol officer while he was moonlighting as a postal worker.

Lt. Troy Morris, 58, was working his second job for the USPS and driving a postal truck early Friday morning when he called highway patrol and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office to notify them of a flat tire, police said.

"We dispatched a deputy who arrived a short time later and found Mr. Morris had been shot to death inside his truck,” Jefferson County Sheriff James Bailey told reporters.

Morris had been a 27-year veteran with the force, according to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Sean Tindell, the Mississippi Public Safety Commissioner said in a statement he was in contact with Morris's family and they have received an outpouring of support from around the state including Gov. Tate Reeves.

On Saturday, Treyon Washington, 24, Damion Whittley, 25, and Cdarrius Norman, 17, were arrested and charged with murder in connection to Morris' death.

Washington was arrested in Jefferson County while Whittley and Norman were taken into custody in New Orleans.

There were no signs of theft from the truck, according to investigators. Norman and Whittley are awaiting extradition back to Mississippi, investigators said.

The investigation is ongoing, according to investigators.

"While we are pleased with the progress of this investigation, we realize there is much work left to be done," Col. Randy Ginn of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol said in a statement.

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(NEW YORK) -- The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 727,000 people worldwide.

More than 19.5 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 5 million diagnosed cases and at least 162,441 deaths.

Here's how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.

3:09 p.m.: Ohio crosses 100,000 cases

Ohio has become the latest state to record over 100,000 COVID-19 cases, according to its Health Department.

As of Sunday, there were 100,848 confirmed cases in the state and 3,669 deaths.

Ohio becomes the 17th state to have over 100,000 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Virginia and South Carolina also both passed the milestone this weekend, according to the university.

12:18 p.m.: Texas reports highest average positivity rate

The Texas Health Department said that its seven-day average for COVID-19 positivity rate reached a record high Saturday with 19.41%.

This was two percentage points higher than the previous record on July 16, according to Health Department data. The average was steadily falling from July 16 to July 29, when the seven-day average was 12.09%, however it has been increasing steadily since July 30, Health Department data indicated.

An increase in test positivity could reflect an increase in new cases, a reduction in tests conducted, or both. The state has administered over 4.3 million COVID-19 tests so far, the Health Department said.

11:42 a.m.: Washington records 1st teen to die from COVID-19

The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department announced it recorded the first coronavirus death to affect a Washington state resident under 20 years old.

The unidentified teen lived in South Hill resident and had no reported underlying health conditions, according to the Health Department.

"The disease is everywhere. To drive down the spread and protect our loved ones, we all need to mask up, maintain physical distance, and stay close to home,” Anthony L-T Chen, the director of health of Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, said in a statement.

Washington state has 62,523 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,688 deaths as of Sunday, according to the state's Health Department.

11:28 a.m.: Maryland positivity rate hits a new low

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced the seven-day average of the statewide COVID-19 positivity rate reached a new all-time low of 3.75%.

The state conducted 1.03 million tests so far and 17.2% of the state's population has been tested, according to the governor. Maryland conducted 40,473 tests on Saturday and had a positivity rate of 2.72%, the governor said.

The statewide positivity rate has been under 5% since June 25, and is now more than 86% lower than its April 17 peak, Hogan's office said.

The state has 95,903 total COVID-19 cases as of Sunday morning and 3,448 deaths, according to the state's Health Department.

11:15 a.m.: Florida records over 6,200 new cases, 77 new deaths

The Florida Health Department said it recorded 6,229 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to 532,806. The state recorded 77 new deaths during that time frame, bringing the total number of coronavirus related fatalities to 8,315, according to the state's Health Department.

Florida recorded 254 new hospitalizations in the last 24 hours, and the virus has hospitalized 30,505 people so far, the health department said.

Approximately 20% of the state's ICU beds are available, according to Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration. Thirty-seven hospitals across the state have run out of ICU beds, and four counties have no ICU beds available, according to the agency.

10:15 a.m.: US reaches 5 million coronavirus cases

The U.S. recorded its five millionth COVID-19 case Sunday morning, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

The number of deaths in the country is above 162,000, the data indicated.

Globally, there are roughly 19.6 million COVID-19 cases and more than 727,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. The U.S. has led the world in coronavirus cases for months, with nearly 2 million more than Brazil, which has the second-most cases.

1:22 a.m.: Minnesota Vikings player needs open-heart surgery after post-COVID diagnosis shows heart problem

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Cameron Smith posted on his Instagram page Saturday night that he will need open-heart surgery to fix a defective valve that he's had since birth.

The condition was discovered from additional tests administered following his COVID-19 positive diagnosis.

"Earlier this week I found out I need open heart surgery to fix a bicuspid aortic valve that I was born with," Smith's statement read. "Although this will unfortunately end my 2020 season, it is really a blessing that we found this as my heart is severely enlarged and wouldn’t have lasted much longer. I found this out after I tested positive for COVID and had to have further testing done as protocol. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but I could really feel him on this one!"

Smith concluded: "There is a surgery that will allow me to continue to play football as soon as I am healed and cleared and I didn’t think twice about going with that one. By no means am I ready to be done playing football, there is still so much more I want to accomplish on the field. I'm going to attack this like everything else I have in life. Already looking forward to the comeback!"

12:40 a.m.: Cardinals vs. Pirates on Monday postponed due to coronavirus

The Pittsburgh Pirates' flight to St. Louis on Sunday has been canceled and their game on Monday against the Cardinals has been postponed, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan.

By Sunday, the teams will have a better sense as to whether they'll play Tuesday and Wednesday, sources told Passan.

The Cardinals' three-game series against the Chicago Cubs this weekend was postponed after the league said two Cardinals players and one staff member tested positive for the coronavirus from samples collected over the past two days.

In total, nine Cardinals players and seven staffers have tested positive since last week. The Cardinals haven't played since July 29.

12:15 a.m.: Biden on the U.S. reaching 5 million COVID-19 cases: 'It’s a number that boggles the mind and breaks the heart'

Former Vice President Joe Biden reacted Saturday evening to the news that the United States has reached 5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19.

In a paper statement, Biden said the number "boggles the mind and breaks the heart," urging Americans to continue taking steps, including mask-wearing, to combat the spread of the virus and eventually overcome it.

As he has throughout the pandemic, Biden also slammed Trump's lack of leadership on the crisis, writing that the country "continue[s] to hear little more from President Trump than excuses and lies."

"No other high-income economy is still struggling to get this under control. In fact, Americans are no longer welcome in much of the world, because we are seen as a public health threat. And we are where we are today for one simple, infuriating reason: Trump waved the white flag and gave up. He didn’t want to deal with the pandemic, so he stopped trying. He didn’t do his job," Biden wrote.

"Trump has already thrown away months of the American people’s sacrifice and hard work. Imagine what four more years of his failures will cost us," he added.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


DC Police Department via TwitterBY: IVAN PEREIRA, ABC NEWS

(WAHINGTON) -- A 17-year-old was killed and an off-duty police officer was "struggling for her life," after they, and many others, were shot during a large gathering in southeast Washington D.C. early Sunday morning, police said.

The incident took place at 33rd Street and Dubois Place at around 12:30 a.m. where over 100 people had gathered, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters at a news conference. During the gathering, a dispute broke out and "multiple weapons were produced," by at least three individuals and they opened fire into the crowd, Newsham said.

In total, 21 people were shot, 11 of whom were women and two of whom were teens, police said. One of the teens, Christopher Brown, 17, was pronounced dead, according to Newsham.

The chief said that the injured off-duty D.C. police officer was transported to the hospital in very serious condition.

"She is struggling for her life right now," he said.

The D.C. Fire Department said nine of the victims transported to hospitals suffered serious to critical wounds.

Two injured persons who were found outside of the gathering and taken to hospitals may have been linked to the shooting, officials said. One was picked up from a location away from the gathering while another came to a firehouse, a D.C. Fire spokesperson said.

"Sadly several people who have no regard for human life opened fire at what had been people together, enjoying themselves," Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters.

Newsham said there were officers in the vicinity of the gathering, which violated the city's ban on large crowds, but they were unable to control the gathering or break it up.

Investigators are still searching for clues and witnesses and did not immediately have a motive, according to Newsham.

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(SPARTA, N.C.) -- A 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the border between North Carolina and Virginia on Sunday morning.

The earthquake was reported near Sparta, North Carolina, at 8:07 a.m., according to the USGS.

There are no reports of damage or injuries. The tremors were felt from Virginia to South Carolina.

The quake is the strongest the area has seen in over 100 years. The largest earthquake in the area (magnitude 5.1) occurred in 1916, according to the USGS.

There were several smaller earthquakes in the area in the hours leading up to the main quake Sunday morning, officials said.

"It trembled our house. And then it shook our bed. And we was like, What in the world was that?" Charlotte, North Carolina, resident Nisha Thomas told ABC affiliate WSOC. "I didn't know what it was. Honestly, I don't even know if it was earthquake or not. I experienced earthquakes little kid back in California, but I didn't know if that was an earthquake or not. It really startled me."

"To me, I thought, like, I didn't even know that earthquakes actually exist in North Carolina because I'm from California. And I didn't even know that they exist. So I was really startled," Thomas told the station.

Aftershocks are possible in the region following the initial quake the USGS said.

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(NEW YORK) -- A line of thunderstorms is moving across portions of Missouri and Illinois this morning.

Flash Flood Watches are in effect as some spots could see as much as 2 to 4 inches of rain with due to thunderstorms.

Another round of storms is expected to follow a cold front across Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska as it moves through the region this afternoon and evening.

Storms are expected to continue through the overnight hours as they spread into parts of Wisconsin by sunrise on Monday.

Some storms could be strong to severe, with large hail and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph being the main threats. The tornado threat remains low at this time.

A heat advisory is in place across portions of southeastern Nebraska, southwestern Iowa, eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas as heat index values are forecast to be in the 100s across much of the Southern Plains to the Mississippi Valley.

After a brief trend of below average temperatures in the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, temperatures are forecast to return to the 90s plus for major metros like Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Elsewhere, a tropical wave is located a few hundred miles south-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands and has a 20% chance of development in the next 48 hours.

Slow development is possible over the next few days while the cluster of showers and thunderstorms moves westward across the tropical eastern Atlantic.

An “extremely active” Atlantic hurricane season is expected this year as a number of factors were taken into consideration.

First, there is a very active west African monsoon meaning that the waves, or disturbances, that move west off the coast of Africa expected to be more capable of becoming better organized as they move into the Atlantic Ocean.

Second, tropical cyclones thrive in environments where the wind is calmer and does not change as much with height. This is called vertical wind shear.

In the month of July, the average wind shear in the Atlantic was observed as the second lowest on record since 2005 meaning potentially a more favorable environment for tropical systems to thrive if the trend continues.

Very warm water temperatures help sustain tropical cyclones and the warmer the water, the more fuel it has to thrive on.

The odds of an El Nino to develop -- cooler Atlantic water temperatures -- this summer into the fall are extremely low.

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(ATLANTA) -- Nine people have tested positive for COVID-19 at a Georgia high school where a photo of a packed hallway went viral earlier this week.

Six students and three staff members who were at the school last week have tested positive, according to a letter sent to parents Saturday that was acquired by ABC News. The positive cases were reported to the school after private tests.

"We have anticipated that COVID-19 would impact us as it has nearly every community, and the district has worked in partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH) to proactively implement safety precautions and response plans," the letter reads. It does not say whether anyone will be quarantined or if the school will close fully or in part, but says custodial staff will continue daily disinfecting procedures.

The photo showed students crammed wall-to-wall at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia. Some students were wearing masks, but many were not, and social distancing was not possible.

The picture prompted outrage from parents and outside observers, but also punishment for the student who shot the pictures and shared them.

Hannah Watters, 15, a 10th grader at the school, was suspended over sharing the photos with media. The school even warned over the loudspeaker that others who did the same could be punished.

On Friday, however, her suspension was rescinded, as was the punishment of another student. She told ABC News on Friday, before the letter about the positive tests, she planned to go back on Monday.

The past week was the first that students were back at school.

"Going in [to school] I was nervous, but trusting that Paulding would keep us safe," Hannah told ABC News earlier this week. "But it was worse than I thought it was going to be. I didn't feel safe, especially coming home to family after going to school."

The school wrote in a letter following the release of the photos, "Under the COVID-19 protocols we have adopted, class changes that look like this may happen, especially at a high school with more than 2,000 students."

President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have both pushed for schools to reopen for in-person learning whenever possible.

"Our strategy is to aggressively shield those at the greatest risk while allowing younger and healthier citizens to safely resume work and school," Trump said Saturday at a press conference announcing multiple executive actions targeting COVID-19 relief.

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(BIRMINGHAM, Al.) -- A mother of three from Kansas has now been missing for a week after leaving on a trip to visit family in Alabama.

Marilane Carter, 36, left her home in Overland Park, Kansas, just outside Kansas City, on the night of Saturday, Aug. 1, according to police. She was last seen in surveillance footage checking into a hotel in West Plains, Missouri, the following morning.

Law enforcement said Carter last spoke to family on that Sunday near Memphis, Tennessee, before her phone went dead. Police confirmed her cellphone last pinged in that area.

Her husband, Adam Carter, told Kansas City ABC affiliate that his wife spent about three hours at the Missouri hotel before leaving and was speaking to her when her phone died. She spoke to her mother minutes later and her phone died again.

The Overland Park police said she "made concerning statements to her family and has not been heard from since later Sunday, August 2nd."

Authorities did not specify what was said.

"She was seeking some mental health care and she didn't want to go to any place in Kansas City, but she wanted to go to a place she was familiar with," Adam Carter, who works as a pastor in Kansas, told KMBC on Saturday.

Marilane Carter's mother lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and she was also going to see her newborn niece.

Carter said the family has been searching in the area of the Interstate 55 bridge over the Mississippi River in Memphis where the cellphone last pinged her location. She has not used her phone or credit card since speaking to her husband and mother on Sunday evening.

"We are devastated because she has three children and they cry every night," Marlene Mesler, Marilane's mother, told Birmingham ABC affiliate WBMA. "They are asking for their mommy. Her husband loves her so much."

Police said she was driving a gray 2011 GMC Acadia with the Kansas license plate, 194 LFY.

Carter is about 5-foot-8 and 130 pounds with long brown hair and green eyes. Police said she was last seen wearing a green T-shirt and black yoga pants.

"She's a loving mother, loving wife. We have a great relationship ship. I miss her terribly. I want her home. I want her home with our kids," Adam Carter said.

ABC News' Erin Calabrese and Ahmad Hemingway contributed to this report.

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(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 721,000 people worldwide.

More than 19.3 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

The United States is the worst-affected country around the world, with more than 4.9 million diagnosed cases and at least 161,358 deaths.

Here's how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.

4:26 p.m.: Ohio governor tests negative again

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said that he has again tested negative for coronavirus, according to a statement released by his office.

DeWine had tested positive earlier in the week, but then later that day announced that via a separate test he tested negative.

The test that DeWine originally took was a rapid-result test and, according to The Associated Press, considered to be less accurate than the one he took later.

His office called the first positive result a "false positive."

DeWine's wife, Fran, had the same results.

10:49 a.m.: Hospitalizations and deaths continue to increase in Florida

The Florida Department of Health reported increases in both hospitalizations and deaths Saturday.

Hospitalizations were up by 521 in the last 24 hours, with 6,991 active hospitalizations, while deaths rose by 182, putting the total number at 8,233, according to the department.

Cases also increased by 8,502 and 86,175 tests have been conducted. The state has now seen 526,577 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Bay County, of which Panama City is the county seat, has the highest positivity rate in the state at 16.3%.

However, Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in the state, has the highest number of new cases at 1,801.

8:54 a.m.: Princeton shifts learning plan for fall semester

Princeton University will not bring freshman and juniors back to campus in the fall, as originally planned, due to coronavirus cases that have "soared" in recent weeks, according to a statement from the president of the university.

Courses will now be fully remote for undergraduates in the fall semester, president Christopher L. Eisgruber said. Graduate students will be allowed on campus because of the "different instructional and residential programs."

"This combination of health concerns and restrictions will significantly diminish the educational value of the on‑campus experience. It will also render that experience confining and unpleasant for most students," Eisgruber said.

He also noted that students from 34 states would have to quarantine upon arrival in New Jersey for 14 days and that the phased opening for the state has been paused over fear of rising cases.

"New Jersey’s careful approach has helped to keep the pandemic in check, but public health principles and state guidance still limit very substantially what we can do on campus," Eisgruber said.

The president said that the university will accommodate students who aren't able to return home or study from home, as well as a limited number of students with previously approved exceptions, which recognized their need to be on campus for their senior thesis research or other work essential to their degree programs.

Eisgruber said that while he knows the news is "disheartening and disappointing," the university is doing its best to prepare to welcome students back in the spring.

New Jersey was among the states hit hardest in the early stages of the pandemic, but has since seen some of the lowest daily infection rates. Gov. Phil Murphy has warned of late about rising numbers.

5:57 a.m.: Georgia school district reports 100 COVID-19 cases among students, staff

As the debate about reopening schools continues across the country, many children are already back in classrooms or are about to start. One state that has grabbed headlines this week is Georgia, where photos of crowded hallways showing students without masks went viral.

Now, one of the largest school districts in the Peach State is reporting that 100 of its students and staff are suspected of having tested positive for COVID-19, even before in-person classes have started. Those figures were provided to the district by the Georgia Department of Health.

Cobb County Schools Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said the district would remain virtual "until public health data in Cobb County changes and guidance from state and local public health officials recommends it," according to ABC News Atlanta affiliate WSB. The district, which has about 113,000 students, starts remote learning on Aug. 17.

Georgia exceeded 200,000 COVID-19 cases on Aug. 5, according to an internal Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News. It took four months for the state to reach 100,000 cases and just four weeks to reach 200,000.

Cobb County, according to the Georgia Department of Health, has more than 13,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 1,363 current hospitalizations. The county has at least 317 COVID-19 deaths, the second most in the state, trailing only Fulton County's 420 deaths.

The state has more than 209,000 confirmed cases, with at least 4,117 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

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(LOS ANGELES) -- The remains of seven Marines and a Navy Sailor who were killed when their amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) sank during a training exercise on July 30 off of San Clemente Island in Southern California have been recovered, the Marine Corps announced Friday night.

After initially saying recovery efforts would likely be unsuccessful, officials with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) positively identified the AAV on Aug. 3, nearly 400 feet underwater. Specialized equipment on a diving and salvage ship to recover the remains and AAV arrived Aug. 6, officials said. Their remains were recovered Friday.

"Our hearts and thoughts of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit are with the families of our recovered Marines and Sailor," Col. Christopher Bronzi, commanding officer of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said in a statement Friday. "We hope the successful recovery of our fallen warriors brings some measure of comfort."

The recovered Marines and Sailor will be transferred to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, for preparation by mortuary affairs teams for burial.

There were 16 aboard the AAV when it began taking on water during a shore-to-ship maneuver about a mile off the coast of San Clemente Island last month. Eight were rescued that day, one of whom was pronounced dead at the scene. The eight other on board were presumed dead after a lengthy and intense search and rescue operation.

The Marines were making their way back to the U.S. Navy amphibious ship USS Somerset on their AAV, according to three defense officials, when the incident began.

The AAV was among a group of 13 AAVs returning to the ship, which was approximately a mile from shore, Lt. General Joseph Osterman, commander of I Marine Expeditionary Force, said at a July 31 press conference.

Osterman said that the personnel aboard the AAV signaled to other AAVs that they were taking on water. Immediate aid provided by personnel on two other AAVs and those on a safety boat accompanying the vehicles helped rescue eight of the imperiled Marines.

"It sank completely," said Osterman, adding that "the assumption is it went all the way to the bottom," several hundred feet below the surface, too deep for divers.

The cause of the training accident is still under investigation.

The Marine Corps released details of the nine dead service members. All eight Marines served as riflemen in 1st Battalion, 4th Marines based in Camp Pendleton. The sailor was a Fleet Marine Force corpsman serving alongside them in the infantry unit.

Their names, ages and hometowns are as follows:

LCpl. Guillermo S. Perez, 20, of New Braunfels, Texas (pronounced dead at the scene) Cpl Wesley A. Rodd, 23, of Harris, Texas Cpl. Cesar A. Villanueva, 21, of Riverside, California U.S. Navy Hospitalman Christopher Gnem, 22, of Stockton, California LCpl. Marco A. Barranco, 21, of Montebello, California LCpl. Chase D. Sweetwood, 19, of Portland, Oregon Pfc. Bryan J. Baltierra, 18, of Corona, California Pfc. Evan A. Bath, 19, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin Pfc. Jack Ryan Ostrovsky, 21, of Bend, Oregon

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Courtesy Frank WimberlyBY: ELLA TORRES, ABC NEWS

(NEW ORLEANS) -- Frank Wimberly began grieving for his brother, Quinnyon, last fall after learning that he was one of three construction workers killed in the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans.

Yet 10 months later, Wimberly said the pain still feels fresh because his brother's body hadn't been recovered.

Authorities have been working to remove the 36-year-old's body and that of a second victim, 63-year-old Jose Ponce Arreola, since the hotel crumbled on Oct. 12, 2019, but safety concerns and the instability of the building have remained an issue.

The third victim, Anthony Magrette, was removed.

"I think we have gone through the beginning stages of grief, shock and denial, but we have been stuck at the third stage of pain," Wimberly told ABC News.

Quinnyon Wimberly's body was set to be removed July 1, but the weeks dragged on and it still hadn't been, Wimberly told ABC News.

On July 13, New Orleans council member-at-large Helena Moreno released a statement saying the bodies would "soon be removed from the wreckage."

"This tragedy should never have happened, and it has taken far too long to be able to deliver dignity to these men who unfairly perished due to the terrible mistakes and misdeeds of others," Moreno said.

The latest deadline for removal -- and what the Wimberly family hopes is the last -- is now Saturday.

When officials told the Wimberly family the removal would happen in the window of July 20 to July 24, Frank Wimberly bought a plane ticket from Atlanta, where he lives, to New Orleans.

Other family members also flew in, some from Cleveland.

By July 23, Wimberly said it was clear officials would not make the latest deadline.

Wimberly said his brother's eldest son had been there for a month, but couldn't stay any longer.

"He's not even gonna be able to see his dad coming out of the building," Wimberly said.

His own son was graduating from high school this year, and the graduation ceremony was planned for July 24, however Wimberly said his son chose to miss it because he would rather be there for his uncle.

"Now it's like he missed his graduation for nothing," Wimberly said.

Wimberly said that the toll of the delays has caused the family great stress. And in the time it's taken for his brother's body to be removed also caused physical damage to his remains. His brother's legs were seen sticking out of the building after the collapse, and in mid-July, Wimberly says he was told the left leg had fallen off.

"It's just a lot of things going on ... my family and I were fed up," Wimberly said.

A spokeswoman for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell directed ABC News to 1031 Canal Development LLC, the property owner, for comment.

A spokesperson for 1031 Canal said that the main concern for the company has always been health and safety. The spokesperson also said that two tropical storms hindered the efforts and caused delays. However, the spokesman believes that a removal by the end of the day Saturday is plausible.

The New Orleans Fire Department, which Wimberly said was in contact with the family about the removal process, did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Workers on site had been attempting to reach the bodies by chipping away at the building from top to bottom. Wimberly's body was expected to be removed first, with Arreola's the week after.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited "willful" and "serious" violations of Heaslip Engineering, LLC., as the main reasons for the building's collapse, according to documents filed by the federal agency.

The alleged violations include workers being exposed to falling materials and building collapse, a lack of a health and safety program, and design flaws that affected the structural integrity of the building, according to OSHA. Heaslip Engineering, LLC., was fined $154,214.

James Heaslip, founder of the company, which was the principal engineer on the Hard Rock project, did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

An attorney for the company told that OSHA's conclusions were "unwarranted" and cited its "impeccable work."

"We believe OSHA's conclusions are unwarranted, not supported by the facts and beyond the jurisdiction of OSHA's statutory authority," Kelly Theard, an attorney at DeutschKerrigan LLC, told "Heaslip unequivocally denies any 'willful' or 'serious' wrongdoing, and will vigorously contest all of the citations through the procedures required by OSHA."

None of the companies cited in OSHA's report on the collapse responded to multiple requests for comment from ABC News. It's unclear whether they challenged the citations or paid their stated penalties. OSHA did not immediately respond to additional requests for comment on Friday.

Frank Wimberly told ABC News he's hopeful to finally see his brother be removed from the building.

As he and the family prepare for what should be the culmination of their months-long ordeal, rife with grief and anticipation, Frank Wimberly said the feeling is bittersweet.

The family held a memorial service back in November, but it's clear Quinnyon Wimberly's loved ones are looking forward to having some closure.

"We're tired of being patient," Frank Wimberly said.

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(NEW YORK) -- Summer storms brought another round of heavy rain, flooding and damaging winds to parts of the eastern U.S. on Friday.

An 89 MPH wind gust was reported in Cumberland County, New Jersey, on Friday night, and damaging winds downed some trees in Delaware as well. Over 4 inches of rain also fell in Winterthur, Delaware.

These summer storms come just days after Isaias went through the region, bringing damaging winds and torrential rainfall. A city like Allentown, Pennsylvania, has seen more than 7 inches of rain so far in August, which is 6 inches above its month to date average.

The good news is the summer storms are calming down in the eastern U.S. The threat for additional flash flooding is quite slim now, with only isolated storms possible.

Attention turns to a new severe weather threat, this time in the Midwest.

A couple of systems will combine to cause summer thunderstorms to develop later Saturday and into early Sunday. The threat Saturday will be from Nebraska to Minnesota, and then will move into central Minnesota and Wisconsin by Sunday.

The main threat will be damaging winds and large hail. Any slow-moving thunderstorm could produce flash flooding as well.

Meanwhile, in the south-central U.S., some of the summer heat will try to build this weekend. The heat index in parts of Oklahoma and Kansas is expected to be over 100 degrees. Therefore in some spots, a heat advisory has been issued.

After Isaias, the Tropics are briefly much quieter. There is a system that is being monitored for development in the Atlantic, which only has a 10% chance of developing further. It is almost guaranteed that the Atlantic will fire up again with activity as we head further into August.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Leonsbox/iStockBy LUKE BARR, ABC News

(WASHINGTON) -- The Bureau of Prisons has spent almost $3 million dollars on ultraviolet sanitizing devices to combat COVID-19 at 122 federal prisons, regional offices and its central office in Washington, D.C., according to the Bureau of Prisons, which confirmed the purchase to ABC News.

The contract, which was obtained by ABC News and dated May 15, says that GM Hill Engineering, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is providing the BOP with ultraviolet sanitizing gates -- even though the World Health Organization says UV light technologies should not be used on human beings and there is no definitive scientific research on the use of UV light to protect against COVID-19.

GM Hill did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

The technology that the BOP has purchased involves people passing through a "gate" of UV light, which, according to the industry, will kill any germs related to COVID-19. BOP says that portals have already begun to be installed at its facilities and that all machines will be delivered by Oct. 31.

According to the Bureau of Prisons, 108 inmates have died of COVID-19 and over 10,000 inmates have tested positive. More than 1,200 corrections officers have been infected by COVID-19.

"These portals are a supplement to the BOP's overarching efforts to ensure the safety and health of our staff and inmates during the pandemic," the BOP said in a statement to ABC News.

While widely touted as a multifaceted solution, the use of UV light involving humans is not without controversy. A month before the contract was written, the International Ultraviolet Association, an organization that seeks to make the use of UV technology more prevalent in public health, discouraged the use of UV light on the human body to fight against COVID-19.

"We would like to inform the public that there are no protocols to advise or to permit the safe use of UV light directly on the human body at the wavelengths and exposures proven to efficiently kill viruses such as SARS-CoV-2," the group said in a statement.

Dr. Jay Bhatt, the former chief medical officer at the American Association of Hospitals and an ABC News contributor, said that this is an emerging field with limited scientific study.

"I think the technology is relatively new, and has to be proven. Further, I think that businesses should be thoughtful and careful as they're deploying various UV light technology to use for for disinfection because, ultimately, we've got to keep people safe and we don't want further increasing cases, when we're really just getting a handle on it, and in parts of the country," he said.

Additionally, the World Health Organization has recommended that UV light technologies not be used on people.

"The use of tunnels or other physical structures (booths, cabinets, gates) with disinfection aspersion, spray devices or UV-C radiation are not recommended for use on humans," the organization writes.

The WHO says, "UV-C radiation can cause harmful health effects. These include skin and eye irritation, sunburn, eye injury, digestive tract irritation and cancer. Looking directly at irradiating UV-C light can cause cornea damage. UV-C radiation can generate ozone, a harmful air pollutant."

The Bureau of Prisons Union has also sounded the alarm on the use of UV light technology, saying it is potentially dangerous to its members.

"Spending $3 million on unproven technologies is waste, fraud and abuse. That money should have been allocated to hiring staff," Rojas said. "We have institutions at critical levels like USP Thompson, FCC Beaumont, Yazoo, etc. They are at critical levels."

Rojas says he filed a complaint with the Department of Justice inspector general.

The Food and Drug Administration is allowing UV light to be used in disinfection of surfaces, but has not approved the use of the BOP's technology. U.S. airlines, such as JetBlue, have also tested the use of a UV light machine on empty planes that the airline says can disinfect the cabin of a plane in less than 10 minutes.

Other companies, such as Magnolia Bakery in New York, the Seattle Space Needle in Washington and United Airlines have also deployed this little-known technology.

The technology is safe, Fred Maxik, the chief scientific officer of Healthe Lighting, said.

Healthe Lighting is a company that develops technology for UV air and surface sanitation. It is unknown if BOP is using Healthe lighting products.

"The system that we are proposing is a 220 nanometer system that's been found to be safe for our skin and eyes and we can occupy that space at the same time the light's been turned on," Maxik told New York ABC station WABC.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority, which operates the New York City subway system, has also deployed the use of UV technology.

"Ultraviolet light is proven to be an effective technology for eliminating viruses, and has been previously used to combat the SARS virus," they said in a statement.

The International UV Association said that UV light "will be effective in a wide range of disinfection applications for air and surface treatment. However, more work is required to understand the variation of its efficiency against a wider range of pathogens of interest and the suitability of each application must be assessed on a case-by-case basis."

The BOP has been under scrutiny for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, so much so that Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Fred Keller introduced a bill to require Senate confirmation for the BOP director.

Heightened COVID-19 risk to inmates and staff comes as BOP tactical teams were deployed to protests in Washington, D.C., and other cities throughout the summer.

Shane Fausey, the Council of Prison Locals president, said that 700 correction officers were deployed, "in less than 72 hours, to multiple locations across the nation."

"Quietly, you protected our nation's historical monuments, countless businesses, and cities, you even protected those exercising their Constitutional right to peacefully assemble. With violence and looting in check, America was once again allowed to be America," Fausey wrote in a letter to his members.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- Kentucky officials offered new details on Friday in the investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor, a young Black medical worker who was fatally shot in Louisville, Ky., by plainclothes police officers who had entered her home.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has said little about the case since taking over the investigation in May amid ongoing protests and calls for immediate charges against the officers involved.

Taylor's death on March 13 helped ignite civil unrest across the country as people protested against racism and police brutality. Louisville police officers had executed a no-knock search warrant and used a battering ram to forcefully enter the young woman's apartment. She was not the person they were looking for, according to police.

Amid mounting pressure for a decision in the probe, Cameron reiterated his commitment to the case, but he said investigators were still gathering information.

In a statement Friday, the AG's office said it was still waiting for key evidence, specifically related to the guns and bullets involved in the shooting.

"Attorney General Cameron remains committed to an independent and thorough investigation into the death of Ms. Taylor," the office said in a statement Friday. "The investigation remains ongoing, and we currently await additional testing and analysis from federal partners, including a ballistics test from the FBI crime lab."

The FBI confirmed that it collected a "significant amount of ballistic evidence" after searching Taylor's home in June.

“As many saw on June 19th, FBI Louisville returned to Breonna Taylor's apartment to execute a federal search warrant," FBI officials told ABC News in a statement Friday. "Over two days of searching, the FBI collected a significant amount of ballistic evidence and completed a shooting reconstruction. This evidence is being tested and analyzed at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia."

Cameron has routinely refused to put a timeline on his office's decision.

Officers had executed a no-knock entry "due to the nature of how these drug traffickers operate," according to the arrest warrant obtained by ABC News.

Taylor was accused of accepting USPS packages for an ex-boyfriend whom police were investigating as an alleged drug trafficker who used her address, according to the warrant.

Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, got out of bed around midnight when they heard a commotion outside. After a short exchange with police, Walker says he fired his gun in self-defense, saying he thought the home was being broken into, according to police.

The plainclothes officers returned gunfire, firing several shots and fatally hitting Taylor, police said.

Attorneys for Taylor's estate claimed that more than 20 shots were fired into her apartment, hitting her multiple times.

"I haven't had time to sit and grieve," Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, told ABC News in June. "I'm still trying to figure out why my daughter was killed. I'm still trying to figure out, why did it have to come to her being murdered. Why did Breonna have to die?"

ABC News' Luke Barr contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- (NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 716,000 people worldwide.

More than 19.1 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

The United States is the worst-affected country around the world, with more than 4.8 million diagnosed cases and at least 160,255 deaths.

Here's how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:

3:30 p.m.: California surpasses 10,000 deaths

California, the state with the most coronavirus cases in the U.S., has now passed the grim milestone of 10,000 fatalities, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Over 538,000 people in the state have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 10,011 people have died, according to state data.

In the last two weeks, the number of hospitalizations in California has dropped by 15%, the data showed.

3 p.m.: Fauci expects 'tens of millions of doses' of vaccine in early 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday he expects "tens of millions of doses" of the COVID-19 vaccine in the early months of 2021.

"They've already guaranteed they're gonna have hundreds of millions of doses in 2021." Fauci said in a livestreamed conversation with incoming Brown School of Public Health dean Dr. Ashish K. Jha. "If you look at the first couple of months of 2021, we're not gonna have 100 million doses, we're gonna have tens of millions of doses, which means that we gotta prioritize."

Health care employees, front-line workers and vulnerable, elderly people will likely be prioritized, Fauci said, noting that an independent committee from the National Academy of Medicine will help advise the CDC on distribution.

"We don't know yet what the efficacy might be," Fauci added. I believe we'll get an effective vaccine, but we don't know if it's going to be 50% or 60%. Hopefully, I'd like to see 75% or more."

"But the chances of it being 98% effective is not great, which means you must never abandon the public health approach," he added.

1:20 p.m.: Surgeon General says this will be 'most important flu season' in his lifetime

Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams is warning that this fall and winter will be the most important flu season in his lifetime, explaining that it's crucial to increase confidence in vaccines to prevent overwhelming ICUs with both COVID-19 and flu patients.

In an interview on Doctor Radio Reports on SiriusXM, Adams said slightly less than 50% of adults get their flu shot and that number is even lower among Blacks.

Adams said a potential COVID-19 vaccine must be more widely accepted.

"If we have that level of compliance for [a] COVID vaccine, then it doesn't matter how effective or how safe this vaccine is -- it's still not going to help us stop this outbreak. And it still could actually worsen disparities," Adams warned.

He said there's "a real opportunity" for "health influences ... to go and tell people: 'vaccines are safe. They are effective. Here is how they work.'"

"You need to both get a flu vaccine, and when it becomes available, you need to get a COVID vaccine," Adams said. And I am hopeful. I'm hopeful that because of coronavirus, we may actually see vaccine uptake increase across the country, particularly for vaccinations like the flu vaccine.”

11:40 a.m.: All New York school districts can open, Cuomo says

In New York state, which was once the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, all school districts can open for the fall based on the infection rate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on a conference call Friday.

"Every region is well below our COVID infection limit," Cuomo tweeted. "If the infection rate spikes, the guidance will change accordingly."

Each of the 749 school districts must have a reopening plan approved by the state's Department of Health, the governor said. So far, 127 districts have not submitted plans to the department of health.

Each district should also post a remote learning plan and a plan for testing, he said.

11:20 a.m.: Florida has 4 counties with no ICU beds

Hard-hit Florida has 47 hospitals with no available intensive care unit beds, according to the state's Agency for Healthcare Administration.

Four counties -- Bay, Monroe, Nassau and Putnam -- had no open ICU beds as of Friday morning, the agency said.

Thirty-one hospitals in the state had just one available ICU bed.

These numbers are expected to fluctuate throughout the day as hospitals and medical centers provide updates.

Florida has over 518,000 coronavirus cases, according to state Department of Health data. Florida has the second-highest number of cases in the country behind California.

9 a.m.: Entire high school football team quarantined in Alabama

The entire football team at Alabama's Oneonta High School is under quarantine due to coronavirus cases, ABC Birmingham affiliate WBMA-TV reported.

Practice will resume on Aug. 18 and the team's first game is set for Aug. 21, WBMA reported.

Oneonta High School's school year has been delayed to start on Aug. 18 after an emergency school board meeting vote on Thursday, the school said.

Classes will have a hybrid in-person/remote learning schedule. Some students have registered for full-time remote learning, the high school said.

7:38 a.m.: CDC says up to 190,000 dead by end of August

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 death projections, saying the coronavirus death toll could reach 190,000 by the end of August. The government’s ensemble forecast predicts “deaths may decrease,” but another 15,000 to 30,000 more Americans may die from COVID-19 over the next 23 days.

This week’s national ensemble forecast predicts that weekly reports of new COVID-19 deaths may decrease over the next four weeks, with 4,500 to 10,600 new deaths reported during the week ending Aug. 29. Its forecast predicts that 175,000 to 190,000 total COVID-19 deaths will be reported by that date.

State-level forecasts, according to the CDC, predict that the number of reported new deaths per week may increase over the next four weeks in Hawaii and Puerto Rico and may decrease in Florida, Mississippi, New Mexico, the Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Texas, Vermont and the Virgin Islands.

The COVID Tracking Project reported that for the first time since early March, the number of people tested for COVID-19 is down. This week’s tests were 9.1% lower than last week’s national peak of 5.7 million tests.

New cases of COVID-19 were also down this week by 10.4% , according to the COVID Tracking Project.

5:20 a.m.: US weekly COVID-19 cases, deaths down

Another day, another grim milestone for the U.S. as the coronavirus pandemic continues across the globe. Overnight, the U.S. surpassed 160,000 deaths, bringing its total to at least 160,104 as of 4:30 a.m., according to Johns Hopkins. The U.S. crossed 150,000 deaths last week.

In good news, however, an internal Federal Emergency Management Agency memo obtained by ABC News shows that the U.S. is slightly coming down from its recent national surge. New cases and deaths in the last week have both decreased in week-over-week comparisons. At least 396,559 new cases were confirmed during the period of July 29 and Aug. 5, which is a 12.6% decrease from the previous seven-day period.

There were 7,348 deaths recorded in the same time frame, marking a 2.4% decrease in new deaths compared with the previous week.

The national test-positivity rate is also going down. In the last seven days, the rate was 7.5%, which is down from 8.6% from the previous week.

Only two states and territories, according to the FEMA memo, are in an upward trajectory of new cases, while eight are at a plateau and 46 states and territories are going down.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Glynn County Sheriff's OfficeBy EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(COBB COUNTY, Ga.) -- The white father and son accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery, who was Black and was jogging down a Georgia street, are looking to have bond set and two charges dropped, according to new court documents.

Attorneys for the son, Travis McMichael, 34, called him an "excellent candidate for low bond."

He was never charged with a crime until this case, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Travis McMichael has a 3-year-old son who lived with him every other week until his arrest, the documents said.

"Travis is an extremely devoted father who dotes" on his son, the defense attorneys wrote.

Travis McMichael has lived all of his life in the Brunswick, Georgia, area and was living with his parents at the time of his arrest, the documents said.

His attorneys said he isn't a flight risk because he doesn't have a passport "and most importantly, his family, including his parents and three-year-old son are here in Georgia," the documents said.

Travis McMichael's father and fellow defendant, former police officer Gregory McMichael, also "meets the conditions for pretrial release on reasonable bond," his attorneys said in documents filed Thursday.

Gregory McMichael's attorneys asked the court to set a hearing within 20 days.

Gregory and Travis McMichael were arrested in May and face charges of malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment

A third suspect, neighbor William "Roddie" Bryan, faces the same charges as the McMichaels. Bryan's bail was denied last month.

All three have pleaded not guilty.

Arbery was on a jog in Brunswick when he was shot and killed on Feb. 23. Prosecutors claim that 25-year-old Arbery tried to run for his life before he was struck by a car, gunned down and then called a racial slur by one of the suspects.

The three arrested told police they thought Arbery was a suspect in a series of break-ins. They were charged after video showing the deadly struggle appeared online.

The McMichaels and Bryan also want the charges of malice murder and criminal attempt to commit a felony dropped.

The malice murder count "charges two crimes in one count, making it duplicitous," the McMichaels' attorneys claimed. "It does so by trading on vague and uncertain allegation regarding 'unlawfully chasing' in pickup trucks, which inserts an unspecified separate crime from malice murder, namely, 'unlawfully chasing [Ahmaud Arbery] through the public roadways.'"

The McMichael's attorneys argued that the criminal attempt to commit a felony count is also duplicitous because the count "alleges both a completed crime -- 'unlawfully chase Ahmaud Arbery in pickup trucks' and an attempted crime 'attempt to confine and detain Ahmaud Arbery without legal authority on Burford Road using Ford F150 pickup truck and Chevy Silverado pickup truck.'"

Bryan's attorney filed a motion Thursday looking to adopt the claims made by the McMichael's attorneys to also get those two charges dropped.

ABC News has reached out to the Cobb County District Attorney's office for comment.

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