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Obama: Americans at Risk Because of Zika Funding Delay


President Barack Obama urged Congress to make Zika funding its first priority after members return from a seven-week summer break, saying the delay is putting Americans at risk.

"[E]very day that Republican leaders in Congress wait to do their job, every day our experts have to wait to get the resources they need. That has real-life consequences," Obama said in his weekly radio address. "Weaker mosquito-control efforts. Longer wait times to get accurate diagnostic results. Delayed vaccines. It puts more Americans at risk."

Zika virus has caused two outbreaks in Florida and infected 42 people bitten by local mosquitoes. It's been brought to the continental U.S. by more than 2,000 people — probably many more than that — and infected more than 580 pregnant women in U.S. states.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

49ers QB Kaepernick Refuses To Stand During National Anthem


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did not stand for the playing of the national anthem before his team’s preseason game Friday against the Green Bay Packers.

After the game, he told NFL Media in an exclusive interview that he is "not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

"To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” he told NFL Media. "There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

Steve Wyche, the NFL reporter who broke the story, said Saturday that Kaepernick has been looking for a moment to take a stand for a few months.

"He wanted to find a way to make a point," Wyche said. "This, as controversial as it is, is the way he felt he needed to take a stand."

The 49ers issued a statement after the game, saying that it is Kaepernick’s prerogative to stand or sit during the anthem.

"The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony," the 49ers said in the statement. "It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem."

The NFL offered its own statement on Saturday.

"Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the National Anthem," the NFL stated, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.

Kaepernick, who has used his Twitter account recently to retweet accounts aimed at denouncing white supremacy and racial inequality, also told NFL Media that he is "not looking for approval."

"I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right," he told NFL Media.

Wyche said that this wasn't the first time this preseason that Kaepernick has refused to stand for the national anthem, but now that the 28-year-old quarterback has captured national attention, he is ready to face any potential repercussions.

"He said he's got the spine and the backbone to deal with whatever comes to face him," Wyche said.

San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Chip Kelly said that Friday night's incident will have no impact on the quarterback's football future.

Justin Pugh, a lineman for the New York Giants, and other NFL players tweeted their opinions on Kaepernick's decision not to stand.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Clinton Receives 1st Classified Security Briefing as Nominee


Hillary Clinton received her first national security briefing Saturday as the Democratic presidential nominee, meeting with intelligence officials for an overview of the major threats facing the nation around the globe.

Clinton attended the briefing for more than two hours at the FBI office in White Plains, New York, near her suburban New York City home. Republican Donald Trump received his briefing earlier this month, a customary move for major party nominees, but one that has been the subject of a political tussle during the campaign.

Trump was campaigning on Saturday in Iowa, headlining Republican Sen. Joni Ernst's annual "Roast and Ride" fundraiser at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The celebrity businessman was not planning to join the 42-mile motorcycle ride that is part of the event but bringing his campaign to a state where polls show a tight contest, a rare bright spot for Trump amid a sea of challenging battleground states.

The activities capped a week that saw some of the harshest exchanges between the two presidential rivals, with Clinton asserting in an MSNBC interview on Friday that Trump's campaign was built on "prejudice and paranoia" and he had catered to a radical fringe of the Republican Party. Trump, who is trying to win over moderate voters and minorities who have been unsettled by some of his provocative remarks and policy proposals, has tried to paint Clinton as a racist.

The Republican released an online video that includes footage of the former first lady referring to some young criminals as "super predators" in the 1990s. The video also shows Clinton's former Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, denouncing the phrase as "a racist term." Clinton has since apologized. 

Clinton has said that Trump and his supporters have taken on extremist views, casting the race as "not a normal choice between a Republican and a Democrat." 

The back-and-forth has been waged in the national security space.

As President Barack Obama's secretary of state, Clinton held a high security clearance and received a copy of the President's Daily Brief — the highest-level U.S. intelligence document that includes sensitive intelligence and analysis from around the world.

Saturday's briefing was Clinton's first since becoming her party's nominee. Trump received his first briefing earlier this month.

The briefings, which are delivered by career staffers from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, have been customary for presidential nominees for more than 60 years to ensure a smooth transition for the next commander in chief. But the lead-up to the briefings for both candidates have been steeped in politics.

Prior to Trump's briefing, leading Democrats questioned whether the celebrity businessman could responsibly handle receiving sensitive information because of some of his comments, including the suggestion that Russia should attempt to hack Clinton's emails.

Trump and his supporters have said that Clinton's use of a private email server and FBI Director James Comey's rebuke of her "extremely careless" handling of classified information at the State Department should bar her from receiving the briefing.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, meanwhile, wrote National Intelligence Director James Clapper, saying that many questions remain about how Clinton handled her email and requested she not receive the briefings for the remainder of the campaign.

But Clapper rejected Ryan's request, responding that the meetings would be provided on a non-partisan basis. "I do not intend to withhold briefings from any officially nominated, eligible candidate," Clapper wrote.

Trump is also trying to shore up his standing with Latino voters. In Las Vegas, Trump met Friday with two dozen Latino supporters to discuss strategies for boosting Hispanic turnout in the swing state. He has sought to make the case that his economic policies would be better for small minority-owned businesses than those of Clinton.

"People don't know how well we're doing with the Hispanics, the Latinos," Trump said at his hotel just off the Vegas Strip. "We're doing really well."

Trump has suggested that minorities have been left behind by Democratic economic policies and hammered the nation's sluggish GDP growth as "a catastrophe."

But he has continued to send mixed signals about a key issue for many Latinos: immigration. While he has not wavered on his desire to build an impenetrable wall along the border with Mexico, he exhibited indecisiveness in recent days about his plan to deport 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. 

Aides have said he would announce his immigration policy in a speech in the coming days, but his campaign has yet to set a date.

Photo Credit: AP

Dream Ride Raises Money For Special Olympics


Connecticut’s Special Olympics athletes got the red carpet treatment on Saturday.

The Dream Ride Experience is the charity’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Saturday morning, athletes from 17 states and three foreign countries including Australia fished, played miniature golf, and other games.

After lunch, police planned to escort the athletes in exotic and classic cars.

The tour was expected to end at the Farmington Polo Club where the athletes would be celebrated with a red carpet arrival and party.

Other activities on Saturday included a chili cook-off, K9 demonstration, and live entertainment.

The cars, worth a half a billion dollars, will be put on public display Sunday.

The polo grounds will be open to the public for free throughout the event. Two NBA players will put on an exhibition Sunday at noon. There will also be food for purchase and a family fun zone with carnival rides. Wristbands can be purchased for the foot tent and rides.

Last year, the three-day event brought in over $1 million for Special Olympics of Connecticut.

"If we didn't have the proceeds we wouldn't be able to compete in Special Olympics Connecticut,” said Ray Hadden of New Milford.

Mike Bozzuto started the event 16 years ago with a motorcycle ride up the East coast. He said each year the Dream Ride includes more athletes and draws a larger crowd.

“It takes your breath away to see sometimes the growth that we’ve experienced and just the feeling that happens between the athletes, the parents, and the supporters,” Bozzuto said.

Several thousand people are expected to be in attendance over the three-day event.

For a schedule of activities click here.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

'I'm So Lucky': Homeowner Thankful Following Harrowing Louisiana Flooding


Kyung Kim was home with her dog when the flood waters began to rise in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Within a few hours, more than 2 feet of water filled the first floor of the home along Bourque Road. The lights went out and for three days she sat in the dark, watching snakes and catfish swim by her door.

At one point, people came by with a boat offering her a way out, but she didn't want to leave. Her husband, Steve, was away in Colorado and she was worried about the house.

"I told them no, I was staying," she said. They did help her charge her phone, though, so she could keep in touch with relatives.

Knowing the dire situation at home, Steve jumped on a plane for Baton Rouge -- about 60 miles west of Lafayette.

He took a cab from the airport, but while the water had receded from the Kims' neighborhood, the road leading there was still inundated.

Desperate to get home, Steve waded, for a mile, through snake-infested waters.

"I saw him coming," Kyung explained, holding up her arms over her head, "with water up to here," she said gesturing to her chest.

The Kims moved to the United States from South Korea in 1999. Kyung runs a salon nearby. It's the couple's only source of income.

She says as soon as the water receded, she began scrubbing the house.

"I had no idea you had to do all that," she said pointing to the pile of debris on the side of the street. Thing is, if you don't rip out everything touched by the flood water, mold can take over the home.

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On this Friday, the Kims have extra help in the clean up. Volunteers from Samaritan's Purse, a North Carolina-based Christian disaster relief organization buzz around like bees in bright orange shirts.

It's just one job site of more than 3,500 that have been requested by those affected by the flooding across the state.

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Among the volunteers were Drew and Pat Alexander from Aldan, Pennsylvania, a small suburb in Delaware County.

"We both have a spirit for serving people in a time of need," Pat says of why she and Drew drove 20 hours south to help. "Some people run from disaster, we seem to run to disaster."

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The Alexanders have been married 34 years and volunteer with multiple organizations together.

"We're at just about every disaster we can get ahold of," Drew explains. "We know the need is there and we have some ability to be able to help to ease people through those difficult times they're experiencing. That's our mission in life."

The Kims also met with a FEMA adjuster this day. They hope for some help from the government to rebuild. They, like so many others, don't have flood insurance.

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Standing among the mess, Kyung feels grateful.

"I'm so lucky, look at all those cars, all those people helping us," she said.

Her thoughts about the volunteers is heartfelt, but unfortunately the work won't be over once they leave.

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Photo Credit: Sara Smith/NBC10
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Trump: NBA Star's Cousin's Death is Why Blacks Will Vote for Me


Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took to Twitter Saturday morning to comment on the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Nykea Aldridge on Chicago's South Side Friday afternoon. 

Aldridge, who police said was the unintended victim in a gang shooting, was the cousin of Bulls star and Chicago native Dwyane Wade. Trump tweeted: 

His initial tweet, posted around 8:30 a.m., misspelled Wade's first name. The tweet was then deleted and reposted just before 11:30 a.m., correcting the spelling error.

At 12:48 p.m., another tweet was sent from Trump's account saying "My condolences to Dwyane Wade and his family, on the loss of Nykea Aldridge. They are in my thoughts and prayers."

Aldridge was pushing a stroller with a child in the 6300 block of South Calumet Ave in the Parkway Gardens neighborhood when two men approached another man nearby and opened fire, according to police. She was struck by gunfire and taken to Stroger Hospital where she was pronounced dead, authorities said.

Family spokesperson Pastor Edward Jones said Aldridge was a mother of four, and just had a baby. She and her family had recently moved to the neighborhood, Jones said, and she was on her way to register her children for school when she was shot. 

"She loved God, loved her family," Jones said. "Just like everyone else, just wanted a better life, to live a better life. This is tragic because now it struck home with us. Something has to be done. This has got to stop."

Several people criticized Trump on social media, including television personality Star Jones, who said the GOP candidate was "thinking about himself," as others were thinking about the "senseless murder."

Others called him "the worst person alive right now" and told him to "delete your candidacy."

Actor Don Cheadle tweeted some choice words for the candidate, while actress Holly Robinson Peete wrote "I am just... I am so offended by this I can barely breathe."

Earlier in the week, Donald Trump was criticized for claiming in an interview on Monday that he knew a "top" Chicago police officer and believed that the city's violence could be stopped within one week using "tough police tactics."

The Chicago Police Department denied Trump's statement, as spokesperson Frank Giancamilli said, "We've discredited this claim months ago. No one in the senior command at CPD has ever met with Donald Trump or a member of his campaign." 

Three people are being questioned as persons of interest in Friday's shooting, according to police, and the investigation is ongoing.

Photo Credit: AP
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1st Funerals for Italy Quake Victims, Death Toll Rises


The death toll in Italy’s earthquake rose to 291 Saturday as the country began a national day of mourning and prepared for a mass state funeral for some of the victims, NBC News reported. 

Italy’s civil protection agency said the death toll included 230 victims in Amatrice, 11 in Accumoli and 50 in Araqta del Tronto, after a hospitalized man succumbed to his injuries. 

Mourners gathered at a sports center in Amatrice, where 35 coffins were lined up by early Saturday. 

The search for survivors continued, but it’s been three days since anyone was found alive in the ruins of the worst-hit mountainous towns. Hundreds of families were left homeless by the trembler, which hit the area on Wednesday.

Photo Credit: AP

Man Gets Wish to Go to College


A 21-year-old man with a rare neurological disease will live out his dream of experiencing college life this year.

Ben Sikorra of Westlake Village near Los Angeles has juvenile Batten disease, an incurable neurological degenerative disease that starts with blindness, said Sikorra’s father Joe Sikorra. He said those with the illness typically start experiencing seizures in their early teenage years, and lose their cognitive motor skill functions, adding that a lot of people with the illness die in their late teenage years or in their early 20s.

Sikorra’s brother John died a year ago from the disease when he was 24, according to a spokeswoman for California Lutheran University. Sikorra has mostly lost his ability to see, and experiences cognitive difficulties.

However, Sikorra had a "real desire to go to college," Joe said.

"Ben has the desire to do everything in a big way, and he lives very fully, so when he saw all his friends talking about going off to college and wanting to have that college experience, Ben said, 'well me too, why not,'" Joe said.

Joe and his wife wanted this experience for their son, but did not know how it would work since Sikorra functions differently than other students, Joe said.

Then one of Sikorra's friends, who works at California Lutheran University, started asking if there was a way for him to get involved on campus.

"They were just like, let’s make it happen. Don’t know, this is kind of new, but let’s just do it," Joe said. "And so I love that, I love their spirit, to just be inclusive and let Ben have this real opportunity to experience life like other kids."

Scott Silverman, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Life at the university, said, "it really felt like the right thing to do."

"We designed a whole program for Ben, so he can sit in on classes, be participatory in our classes and out of class activities, and really just be involved as a full member of the university community," Silverman said.

The university had Sikorra come in for an admissions interview also, and "Ben was nervous as can be," his father said. Silverman conducted the interview.

"One of the things he said that really struck me as interesting and important, was how proud his brother would be of him to know that he’s in college," Silverman said.

Ever since Sikorra found out he was admitted to the university, Joe said he has been "beside himself." He said Sikorra is excited about this university in particular, and about the fact that it is a "church school" as he calls it.

Sikorra will be sitting in on a marine biology class, and will take a freshman seminar, Silverman said. He is also going to be a hydration specialist for the school’s football team, and says he is excited to hang out with the team and other students.

"It's one of Ben’s missions for a long time to go to college, and so I’m very humbled to be even involved remotely in this process to make this happen," Silverman said. "It's really an honor to have Ben join the community here."

Sikorra attended the university’s orientation Friday sporting a purple California Lutheran University hat and a football t-shirt. He has already started meeting students and people around campus.

Silverman said it’s key to note not only what Sikorra will get out of this experience, but what all of the students and staff at the university are going to get out of it as well.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

$3M Seized in Smuggling Bust


U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized more than $3 million in cash on Tuesday in what is the largest cash smuggling bust in San Diego County history.

CBP agents began following a Kia Forte on Interstate 15 in North County and suspected that the driver was traveling in tandem with a Volkswagen Passat.

Agents initiated a traffic stop of the Kia at around 1:45 p.m. on West Country Club Lane in Escondido. The Volkswagen, which followed the Kia into the residential area, sped off.

CBP agents, with the help of a K-9 unit, searched the vehicle and found $33,880 in cash dispersed in eight vacuum-sealed packages stashed in the center console. The driver, a 53-year-old male American citizen, was arrested upon the discovery of the cash.

Shortly after the arrest, agents located the Volkswagen they suspected was driving in tandem with the Kia abandoned in a nearby cul-de-sac and found eight boxes containing a total of $3,018,000 in paper bills in the trunk.

The driver of the Volkswagen, a 41-year old male Mexican national, was found hiding in nearby bushes and was taken into custody.

Both men were turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and face federal charges for currency smuggling.

Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

Siege of Syrian City Daraya Ends, 3,200 Evacuated


More than 3,000 people were evacuated from Syria’s Damascus suburb of Daraya Saturday, following a deal to end a four-year siege, according to a human rights group, NBC News reported. 

About 800 gunmen and 2,400 civilians were evacuated, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The evacuees headed north into a rebel-controlled province, the group said. 

Daraya "remained for about four years beyond the control of Bashar al-Assad's regime, and out of the reach of his forces and gunmen loyal to him, despite bombardment of thousands of barrel bombs and thousands of missiles and rockets, that killed and wounded thousands," the statement said. 

The organization said Daraya is clear of gunmen and under control of the Syrian army. 

The siege in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, is ongoing.

Photo Credit: AP

Passenger Jet Engine Suffers Major Malfunction


A major engine malfunction on a Southwest flight from New Orleans to Orlando forced the plane to divert, causing some passengers to fear they were under attack, NBC News reported. 

Southwest Flight 3472 with 99 passengers and five crew members landed safely in Pensacola Saturday morning after the engine failure, which occurred at cruising altitude, the airline said. 

Passengers reported hearing a loud boom and said they saw smoke from the left engine. Some also reported seeing metal flapping after the smoke cleared.

Emergency vehicles were on standby as the Boeing 737 landed. 

The airline said the plane suffered a "mechanical issue with the number one engine." The National Transport Safety Board said it will investigate what happened.

Photo Credit: AP

Yellowstone Park Worker Dies in Fall From Cliff


A National Park Service employee fell to her death from a cliff in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, park officials said Friday.

A helicopter search and rescue crew found the body of Estefania Liset Mosquera Alcivar, 21, at about 10 a.m. local time below Grand View Point above the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, according to a National Park Service statement.

Alcivar, a park concession employee from Quito, Ecuador, was with a group of coworkers when she tumbled from the edge of the canyon at about 3:15 a.m., her colleagues told police, according to the park service, NBC News reported.

Park rangers and rescuers responded, but didn't find her body until it was daylight, the statement said. Crews concluded that the fall was "not survivable."

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River is 800 to 1,200 feet deep, according to Yellowstone's website, which urges visitors to be cautious on the cliffs.

Photo Credit: AP/File

Russian Doping Whistleblowers Fear for Their Lives


A Russian couple who blew the whistle on their country's athlete doping program is in fear for their lives after a cyber attack. Yuliya Stepanova, an 800-meter runner, and husband Vitaly, a former doping officer in Russia, have been living in hiding, first in Germany and now in America, for the past two years.

Yuliya and Vitaly blew the whistle on doping in Russian sports in a documentary by German broadcaster ARD. Stepanova herself, once banned for doping while on the Russian team said she felt manipulated by what she calls a corrupt system, and wanted to expose it, NBC News reported.

A spokesman for President Vladamir Putin once called Stepanova a "Judas."

Stepanova and her husband have been branded traitors in their home country, Russia, and have been living like fugitives ever since they decided to expose the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs among Russian athletes.

With a hidden camera, Stepanova shot banned substance dealings and provided the footage to German investigative journalist Hajo Seppelt, who helped secure the Stepanovs' interview with NBC.

Photo Credit: AP

Ohio Man Jumps to Death After 13 Year Prison Sentencing


An Ohio man convicted of attempted murder escaped from a courthouse guard and jumped to his death shortly after being sentenced to 13 years in prison Friday, authorities said.

Jason Binkiewiz, 42, was pronounced dead after jumping over a banister on the third floor of a Steubenville courthouse, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla told NBC affiliate WTOV.

Binkiewiz had just been sentenced for shooting a man in the face in 2015, and was being escorted by a sheriff's deputy when he broke free and ran towards the banister, Abdalla said.

"As soon as Binkiewicz started running, Deputy Price he was on him quick enough when he reached out, he had his shirt," Abdalla said. "It wasn't good enough, and if he held on to the shirt, most likely Deputy Price would have gone over with him."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Trump Campaign CEO Accused of Anti-Semitic Remarks


The ex-wife of Steve Bannon claims he made anti-Semitic comments when the couple fought over which private school to send their daughters to nearly a decade ago, NBC News reported. 

The allegations were made in a sworn declaration by the ex-wife in a 2007 court filing. They were brought to light amid scrutiny over Bannon’s appointment as Donald Trump’s campaign CEO.

Three separate anti-Semitic remarks were allegedly made by Bannon while the couple toured Westland School, Willows Community School and The Archer School for Girls. 

NBC News reached out to Bannon's personal spokeswoman for comment, but was unable to reach her. 

The revelation followed news of a police report obtained by Politico late Thursday and confirmed by NBC News, in which the ex-wife claimed Bannon attacked her 20 years ago. Bannon was charged with three misdemeanor domestic violence-related charges and pleaded not guilty. The charges were dismissed six months later after prosecutors said they could not find his wife.

Photo Credit: AP

Elderly Woman Pulled From Car in Farmington Lake


A couple of Good Samaritans rescued an elderly woman after she drove her car into a lake in Farmington on Saturday.

The woman was driving through an apartment complex when she lost control of her car and drove her into the lake at Lake Shore Drive, according to police.

Witnesses saw the car and dove in to pull the woman from the driver's seat.

“I knocked on the door and yelled for her. She seemed to pop up," Mike Scheer said.

The woman was the only one in the car.

“I swam to that side, went under water, felt around, grabbed her, pulled her out, tapped on her back a few times, she seemed to be, she came aware, figured out what was going on," Scheer said.

The woman, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Police are investigating how the car ended up in the lake.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Florida Braces for Rain, Floods as Tropical Depression Forms


A storm system in the Florida Straits strengthened to a tropical depression Sunday, NBC News reported. 

The tropical depression was south of the western tip of the Florida Keys and was moving west late Sunday afternoon. It was expected to move back east and travel over Florida by Thursday and Friday, the National Hurricane Center said. 

Gov. Rick Scott has warned South Florida residents to have an emergency plan in place in the event of flooding. Between 1 and 4 inches of rain could fall over the southern half of Florida through Wednesday, and some parts could get 6 inches, the hurricane center said. 

Any heavy rains could also pose a setback to control mosquitoes that spread the Zika virus, which has been detected in areas of the state, forecasters said.

Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center
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Family Works to Recover from Flood


Debra Guedry has lived in her Denham Springs, Louisiana, home for 10 years. She didn't want to leave when the flood waters came knocking on her door.

"We watched it," she said. "The water was pouring into the neighborhood. You could just see it. But my daughter said, if we don't leave now, we won't get out at all." 

The flooding devastated a swath of Louisiana near Baton Rouge, blamed for 13 deaths and displacing thousands, like Guedry and her husband.

Along with their daughter, they rushed around to place furniture up onto risers or chairs in hopes of saving it before a neighbor took them to safety in his boat.

Guedry had promised her elderly neighbors she wouldn't leave without them, and convinced the neighbor with the boat to rescue the older couple as well.

The six of them floated down the street of their immaculate 40-home community out over the 6-foot high wrought iron entrance gate and down the road until the boat couldn't go any further. 

When the family and their neighbors had to abandon the boat, Guedry, who stands a slight 5-foot-4 at best, said the water was up to her chest and she was worried about her elderly neighbors.

"All I could think was, the water was going so fast," she said. "How are we going to keep them standing?"

They interlocked arms and waded out.

"We're fortunate we all survived it," Guedry said as she stood on the back porch of her home, where the family has collected the items they think can be salvaged, including a gorgeous wooden king-sized bed frame, a wardrobe and a coffee table.

Guedry's newly married daughter Erin Cleveland said they were trapped because the interstates and roads leading to her home and any other relatives' homes were all blocked. The family, along with Cleveland's husband Ryan, camped out at Cleveland's photography studio on air mattresses for three days until they could get out.

On Saturday at dinner time, Red Cross trucks drove through the streets announcing hot meals. It's one of the many organizations providing help following the devastating flooding. Guedry had a bucket with a Red Cross on it, saying it was topped off to help them clean up. She's thankful for any help that comes by as the four of them work tirelessly to get the home ready for repairs.

"It's been a whirlwind of emotions," Cleveland said, holding two hot meals she just took from the truck. "It just came out of nowhere."

Cleveland said they really had no warning that the water would reach them the way it did.

Cleveland's home stayed dry and that's where the Guedrys are sleeping, on their daughter's sofa and chair until they find a more permanent solution.

While the family said they're working night and day, it could be a year before they're back in their home, and they know it will be a house without furniture.

Their flood insurance will only cover the structure, not the contents, which are piled over six feet high along the curb.

It's a story told over and over along the streets of so many towns in Louisiana reeling from a deadly and devastating flood.

Photo Credit: Sara Smith
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Baltimore Aerial Surveillance Program Raises Trust Issues


Small planes outfitted with video cameras have been flying over Baltimore since January, capturing activity on the streets below and relaying the footage to police to help them catch criminals, NBC News reported.

The public knew nothing about it until this week — when Bloomberg Businessweek ran a cover story about the trial program.

The revelations triggered outrage from elected officials, defense lawyers and the American Civil Liberties Union, who said the program raised privacy concerns and could aggravate public distrust in a city that exploded in riots last year after the death of a man in police custody.

The response put Baltimore, where tensions between law enforcement and minority neighborhoods run high, on the edge of the debate about police use of rapidly evolving technology.

Photo Credit: AP

NJ Man Charged in Parents' Death


A 28-year-old man has been charged with beating his mother and father to death inside the family's West Deptford, New Jersey, home, police said.

Ryan Coles faces homicide charges in the deaths of Edward and Rosemarie Coles.

A member of the family found the couple's bodies after stopping by their Pennfield Drive home Friday. Police said they went to the house after being unable to get hold of them over the phone Thursday night.

Police said Ryan Coles was in the house when they arrived. He was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation and later charged in the deaths. He was placed in Salem County Jail Saturday on default of $1 million bail. It's not clear if he has retained an attorney.

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An autopsy performed Saturday determined the couple died from blunt head trauma and their deaths were ruled a homicide.

Edward, 58, and 55-year-old Rosemarie Coles formerly owned a well-known music store — Coles Music Service — in the community.

"It's been a shock. It's been a rough day," said Lauralee Houghton, Ed's cousin. She bought the business from him in 2012, but he regularly worked in the store fixing instruments, she said.

"We have customers come specifically to us because of Ed's work and reputation," she said. "I'll just miss Ed's sense of humor."

Houghton said she didn't know Ryan well and that she never worked with him.

Photo Credit: Family photo / West Salem Correctional Facility
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