8.27.15:  TV station mourns loss of employees



(AP) – The employees at WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia, are trying to go on, following yesterday’s on-air killing of a reporter and cameraman out in the field.

The station had an on-air moment of silence today for reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward.

They were gunned down by a disgruntled former employee who had been fired.


People are visiting memorials that have been set up outside the station.

The memorials are full of balloons, flowers, candles, and other tokens.


A grief counselor joined staff members at the station.

8.26.15:  Former employee fires shots during live interview



— A TV reporter and a cameraman at a Virginia TV station were shot and killed in the middle of a live on-air report this morning.

The general manager of WDBJ-TV in Roanoke identifies them as reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward.

The shooting happened at a shopping mall in Moneta, about 25 miles southeast of Roanoke.


The gunman used social media to document the incident.

Officials have named Vester Flanagan as the suspect.   Police say they apprehended Flanagan hours later as he sped away from troopers on the highway, crashing his car.  Police say they found him with a life-threatening gunshot wound and he later died at the hospital.

The gunman is believed to be a “disgruntled” employee of the TV station.  He sent a lengthy fax to a national news organization before the shooting.


The third victim in the shooting is Vicki Gardner.   She is the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce and was being interviewed live by Alison Parker when the gunman killed Parker and the cameraman.  Gardner was taken to the hospital and is listed in stable condition.






8.26.15:  Improving economy shares blame for worst US traffic ever



WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. roads are more clogged than ever now that the recession is behind us.

A report from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and INRIX Inc., which analyzes traffic data, says American motorists are stuck in traffic about 5 percent more than they were in 2007, the pre-recession peak.

Commuters in Washington, D.C., suffer the most, losing an average of 82 hours a year to rush-hour slowdowns. And the study says Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York come next on the list of urban areas with the longest delays.

Cities with fast-growing economies and the most job growth are the most plagued by traffic. Other factors: Urban populations are increasing and lower fuel prices are making driving less expensive, so more people are taking to city roads.

Rounding out the Top 10 worst commuting cities are San Jose, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, Houston and Riverside-San Bernardino.


8.26.15:    Markets struggling again today



TOKYO (AP) — Shares are down in Europe today and Asian markets ended mixed, a day after China’s Shanghai Composite Index lost 7.6 percent.

Today China’s benchmark shed 1.3 percent. However, Wall Street investors look ready to plunge back in and buy, with Dow futures up 1.3 percent today and S&P futures up 1.4 percent.

Over the past six days the Dow has lost about 1,900 points.


8.25.15:  Nearly 47 million people now have dementia



LONDON (AP) — Health researchers say there are now nearly 47 million people living with dementia throughout the world.

That’s up from 35 million in 2009. Researchers warn that without a medical breakthrough, numbers will likely double every 20 years.

Researchers from Alzheimer’s Disease International say about 58 percent of all people with dementia live in developing countries and that by 2050, nearly half of all those with the disease will live in Asia.


8.24.15:  Stocks fall over slowdown in China



NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks closed sharply lower.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down more than 588 points and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down more than 10 percent off its recent high.

The slump is part of a global wave of selling triggered by increased signs of an economic slowdown in China.

The Dow fell 588.47 points, or 3.6 percent, to 15,871.28. The index dropped more than 1,000 points in the opening minutes of trading.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid 77.68 points, or 3.9 percent, to 1,893.21.

The Nasdaq composite shed 179.79 points, or 3.8 percent, to 4,526.25 points.

Treasury notes rose. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note fell to 2.01 percent from 2.04 percent on Friday.





8.24.15:  3 Americans, 1 Briton honored in Paris



PARIS (AP) — French President Francois Hollande  says three Americans and a Briton who tackled an attacker on a high-speed train headed to Paris last Friday have given “a lesson in courage, in will, and thus in hope.” The four were presented today with the Legion of Honor, Frances highest honor. Hollande says because of the actions by 23-year-old U.S. Airman Spencer Stone and the three other men, “veritable carnage” was avoided.

8.21.15:  AP Poll: No digital divide among black, white millennials



WASHINGTON (AP) — A new poll finds African-American millennials saying they are just as engaged in getting news online as their white counterparts, further debunking a long-held belief that people of color are at risk of being left behind technologically.

A majority of millennials, 64 percent, say they read and watch news online regularly, including 66 percent of African-Americans. The poll’s findings suggest that, despite fears that millennials may not be going to traditional sources for news, they’re getting news from social media.

The American Press Institute funded the study. Its executive director, Tom Rosenstiel, says that millennials’ similarities are much greater than the differences that people thought there would be.

Overall, 57 percent of millennials say they get news and information from Facebook at least once a day.


8.21.15:  100 large blazes in the West



TWISP, Wash. (AP) — Nearly 29,000 firefighters are battling some 100 large blazes across the West, including Idaho, Oregon, Montana and California.

Yesterday, the bodies of three firefighters killed in north-central Washington were removed from the scene.

Each man was taken out in an individual ambulance, escorted by more than a dozen fire and police vehicles with lights flashing.

Firefighters along the route held their hands and helmets over their hearts.

They were killed when their vehicle crashed Wednesday and flames driven by shifting winds overtook them.


One of the three firefighters that died in Washington State was from West Michigan.

Richard Wheeler was from South Haven.

He and two other firefighters were part of a highly-trained unit that had been sent ahead to evaluate a fire when they were involved in an accident.





8.20.15:  Billy Graham’s son-in-law dies days after found in pool


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A son-in-law of the Rev. Billy Graham has died after being found unresponsive in the swimming pool of the Raleigh, North Carolina, home he shared with his wife, evangelist Anne Graham Lotz.

Seventy-eight-year-old Danny Lotz died Wednesday according to Rex Hospital, which issued a statement for the Lotz family. The retired dentist was taken off life support two days after he was admitted to the hospital.

A statement on Anne Graham Lotz’s Facebook page says the couple was married 49 years and that her husband suffered from severe diabetes and heart disease. The statement says, “He was God’s man who triumphantly finished his race having fought the good fight, and having kept his faith firmly focused on the kingdom of God.”

Anne Graham Lotz is 67. Her father, evangelist Billy Graham, will be 97 in November.