Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
Charles Parish
Geer Services, Inc.
Geer Services, Inc.
Claude Nolan
San Marco Properties
Jul 282013

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) — Searchers found a body Sunday believed to be the best man in a wedding party, who along with a bride-to-be was thrown overboard from a speed boat that slammed into a barge on the Hudson River, police said.

Mark Lennon, 30, has been missing since he and the future bride were ejected from a 21-foot Stingray powerboat in the Hudson River that struck three connected barges in the water by the Tappan Zee Bridge in Piermont, N.Y., at approximately 10:40 p.m. Friday night.

Authorities said six people were onboard the boat, including groom-to-be Brian Bond, 35, and his fiancée, 30-year-old Lindsay Stewart. The group was on their way to Tarrytown, N.Y., when the accident occurred.

A man on a personal water craft saw the body Sunday morning and called 911, Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco said.

The body has not been positively identified, but Falco said officials believe it is Lennon.

Rescue crews found what appeared to be a female body floating on the surface of the water without a life jacket Saturday morning. It is believed to be the body of Stewart, but officials have not yet confirmed it is her.

Jojo John, 35, of Nyack, N.Y., the operator of the boat, was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault. Officials said they believe John was drunk behind the wheel of the boat when the crash occurred.

“At this point, we have probable cause to believe [John] operated the boat while intoxicated, and that’s the basis for the charge,” Rockland County Undersheriff Robert Van Cura said.

John was arraigned in his hospital bed and was ordered to be held on $250,000 bond, ABC New York station WABC-TV reported.

Bond, John and two other men onboard were injured in the accident and taken to local hospitals. Bond was knocked unconscious and suffered a fractured eye socket, WABC-TV reported. When he regained consciousness, he called 911 to report the crash.

The future bride and the best man at her wedding, just two weeks away, were reported missing after the crash.

Stewart and Bond were to be married on Aug. 10, Stewart’s mother said.

“It can’t end like this,” Stewart’s mother, Carol Stewart, told WABC-TV.


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Jul 042013

Credit: BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo(BATON ROUGE, La.) — A bald eagle that zoo officials thought couldn’t fly surprised everyone when it was spooked during a routine maintenance session and flew toward  his mesh enclosure with enough force to create a hole and escape, according to the zoo.

The unnamed male bald eagle came to the zoo about a year ago after wildlife rehabilitators found it injured and with broken bones.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife determined that it could not be re-released into the wild and needed a permanent home, according to Kaki Heiligenthal, the director of marketing for the Baton Rouge Zoo.

She said the zoo believed the eagle was unflighted, or had limited flight capabilities, until it became startled and took off.

“When he ran into the mesh at the top of the exhibit, it was hard enough to create a hole,” Heiligenthal told ABC News on Thursday. “It turns out he could fly a little bit better than we had originally anticipated and just took off and kept going.”

The eagle escaped on Wednesday morning. Zoo officials have been searching for it ever since and have asked  for the public’s help in locating the bird.

“We are actively searching,” Heiligenthal said. “We’ve been fielding a bunch of phone calls from people in the area who have seen birds that they believe to be the eagle and we’re recording all of those and looking into the ones that seem most likely.”

The zoo staff is searching the zoo grounds as well as the surrounding parks and neighborhoods. Heiligenthal said that eagles naturally gravitate toward high places.

“Eagles are not notoriously aggressive, but if someone tried to grab him or something, certainly he could become defensive,” she said. “The best thing to do would be to keep him within sight and give the zoo a call so we can send out the proper personnel to come collect him.

“It’s been a little over 24 hours, but we’re still very hopeful that we’ll find him,” Heiligenthal said.

The zoo is asking that anyone who may spot the eagle call it at (225) 775-3877.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Jun 292013

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(COSTA MESA, Calif.) — County fire authorities want a Costa Mesa, Calif., teenager to pay the cost of its search and rescue efforts to find him when he went missing while hiking with a friend in the woods on March 31.

On Wednesday the Orange County Fire Authority filed a briefing in Orange County Superior Court seeking $55,000 in restitution fees from Nicolas Cendoya, 19. In the briefing the Fire Authority asks that Cendoya pay restitution in addition to the penalty he could incur for possession of a controlled substance, according to court records.

Cendoya was charged last month with one felony count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine after officers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department found .5 grams of methamphetamine in Cendoya’s car in the course of the search and rescue effort, according to a police complaint obtained by ABC News.

Cendoya’s disappearance near Trabuco Canyon sparked a four-day search and rescue effort for him and his companion, Kyndall Jack, 18, who was not charged with anything, that involved multiple emergency agencies and amounted to a total cost of $160,000, according to Kris Concepcion, a division chief in the Fire Authority. The Fire Authority’s costs came to $55,000.

Cendoya was found on April 3, and Jack on April 4.

Cendoya admitted he’d taken methamphetamine before and during the hike, Concepcion told ABC News.
“We’re making the argument that if it were not for the ingesting of drugs and becoming disoriented, Cendoya would not have been lost, and search and rescue would not have been necessary,” Concepcion said.

“A lot of people feel that ingestion of drugs is a victimless crime, but it truly is not. In this case, Cendoya’s criminal activity resulted in a large cost to the Orange County taxpayers. It also caused two injuries, one to a deputy and one to a volunteer,” Concepcion said.

“The search cost the fire authority $55,000. It covers the cost of search and rescue efforts over the course of four days, which includes the use of our helicopter and 30 crew members who searched on foot,” Concepcion explained.

The briefing cites an amendment to the California constitution called Marcy’s Law, which allows for restitution to victims of criminal activity.

“We, and the taxpayers, are the real victims of Mr. Cendoya’s criminal activity,” Concepcion said.

Other agencies that participated in the search and rescue have chosen not to seek restitution.

“We’ve never done something like that before and we’re not planning to. Our commitment is to public safety,” Farrah Emami of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department told ABC News. “We just answer the call.”

The search and rescue cost the Sheriff’s Department $32,000, said Emami.

But the Orange County Fire Authority has found support elsewhere.

On May 31, the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a legislative proposal to allow the County to recover the cost of search and rescue operations, according to a statement given to ABC News by a Board of Supervisors spokesperson.

“Individuals who recklessly put themselves and others in danger should pay the cost for such rescues. Innocent taxpayers should not bear the burden of these exorbitant costs,” Town Supervisor Todd Spitzer said in the statement.

Under current state and county law, Orange County cannot receive restitution for search and rescue operations.

The Orange County Fire Authority is still awaiting the ruling on its briefing.

“I won’t speculate on the case, but we’re hopeful. We’re waiting to see what happens,” Concepcion said.

Efforts to reach Cendoya were not successful, as his phone, as well as his mother’s, had been disconnected. Two phone messages were left for Cendoya’s attorney regarding the restitution and the criminal charge, but the calls were not immediately returned.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Jun 092013

New Orleans Police(NEW ORLEANS) — The body of missing teacher Terrilyn Monette was found today in her car, which was discovered submerged in a Louisiana bayou, New Orleans officials said Saturday.

Monette’s body was found in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, according to ABC News affiliate WGNO-TV in New Orleans.

Monette, 26, has been missing since March, when she was last seen leaving a popular bar early in the morning hours. No suspects have been named in connection with her disappearance.

Her family, based in Long Beach, Calif., have been traveling to New Orleans for months in an attempt to bring more attention to her disappearance. On Friday they held a prayer vigil and asked that the FBI be brought in to handle the case.

Previously Monette’s mother, Toni Enclade, had asked authorities to widen the search to a national level to find her daughter.

On Saturday, divers revisited a bayou that had already been searched, after sonar picked up an object in the water

State Rep. Austin Badon, who helped to organize many of the underwater searches in the area, was also there.

“It was not the outcome we had looked for, but we did find her. It allowed the family to have some sense of relief and closure,” Badon told WGNO-TV.

After hearing that the car was being pulled out, Monette’s family gathered to watch as the teacher’s car was pulled to dry land.

“I don’t understand why it took them so long to find her car,” Enclade told The Times-Picayune. “This is supposedly one of the first places they would have checked. I’m just overwhelmed. It doesn’t make sense.”

At the time of her disappearance, Monette had recently become a second-grade teacher at the Woodland West Elementary school in Jefferson Parish.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Jun 072013

Win McNamee/Getty Images(SAN JOSE, Calif.) — When President Obama stepped up to the podium Friday morning, the cameras were rolling, the stage was perfectly set and reporters were eagerly awaiting his remarks on health care. But something was missing.

“There’s only one problem, and that is that my remarks are not sitting here,” Obama said, as he looked at the barren podium. “People!

“By Friday afternoon, things can get a little challenged,” he quipped.

White House staffers frantically scanned the room and reporters chuckled as the president waited … and waited.

“People!” Obama shouted again.

A shaken staffer finally emerged with the remarks, tripping as he rushed onto the stage to deliver them to the president.

“Oh, goodness,” Obama said, smiling. “Folks are sweating back there right now.”


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio