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The Latest News Headlines

    A nonprofit organization has announced a major donation to help pay off the mortgage on a slain Massachusetts police officer's family home. Weymouth police Sgt. Michael Chesna, 42, was shot and killed Sunday in the line of duty.  >> On Boston25News.com: Weymouth police Officer Michael Chesna posthumously promoted to sergeant The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is providing the first $100,000 toward the mortgage and is challenging others to support the family through the initiative. Any money raised exceeding the mortgage will go directly to Chesna's wife and two children. >> On Boston25News.com: Court docs: Man stood over Weymouth officer and shot him 10 times The foundation, established in memory of a fallen 9/11 firefighter, supports military and first responders who are killed in the line of duty. In addition to his service with the Weymouth Police Department, Chesna was also a military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. >> Read more trending news  Frank Siller, chairman and CEO of the foundation, will join Weymouth police Chief Richard Grimes at the Weymouth Police Department at 3 p.m. Wednesday to make the official announcement. Click here if you’d like to donate.
  • A Florida mother said her son saved her life in the seconds before a crash that claimed his life. >> Watch the news report here Greg Yutuc, 22, was the only person killed in a three-vehicle crash near Jacksonville's Buckman Bridge on Saturday afternoon. >> On ActionNewsJax.com: PHOTOS: University of North Florida student saves mom's life in I-295 crash, dad says Stitches lined Gerry Yutuc’s bruised eyelid and his wife, Charina, had a seat belt burn across her chest. “All I remember is seeing that red car and we are spinning around,” Gerry Yutuc said. They were headed back from their family vacation and were driving on I-295 with their three kids in their van when state troopers said a 21-year-old driver rear-ended another car, then cut off their van. “It was too late for me,” Yutuc said. Their son, Greg, was sitting in the passenger seat and grabbed the steering wheel at the last second. “So the impact could be on his side, to avoid the impact on mom,” Yutuc said. >> Read more trending news  Yutuc said the van flipped. “I looked around and saw four people. My wife, my two daughters and without Greg,” Yutuc said. Greg was thrown from the vehicle and an officer on scene told them their son didn’t make it. Florida Highway Patrol said Greg was not wearing a seat belt. “We didn’t have a chance to hug him and say goodbye,” Yutuc said. Since Greg was a child, he’s been on several mission trips and had plans of becoming a missionary, his parents said. “His heart is really sharing the gospel,” Yutuc said. In his 22 years, Yutuc said his only son affected many lives. “I know we have a great son, but I didn’t know the extent of his influence,” Yutuc said. >> On ActionNewsJax.com: Drivers concerned about safety on Buckman Bridge It was unconditional, selfless love they said Greg will be most remembered by. “He inspired us and we want to be an inspiration,” Yutuc said. The family said the community support has been overwhelming.
  • Tropical Storm Maria continues to churn in the Atlantic Ocean. The deadly storm has claimed lives on multiple islands in its path. >> Read more trending news 
  • “Deadliest Catch” reality TV fisherman Edgar Hansen pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a teenage girl at a home near Seattle, but isn’t expected to serve any jail time. Hansen, 47, received a 364-day suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to  fourth degree sexual assault with sexual motivation, the Associated Press reported. He was also ordered to undergo a sexual deviancy evaluation and give a DNA sample to authorities.  >> Read more trending news  According to court documents obtained by KIRO 7, a 16-year-old girl told her therapist that Hansen sexually assaulted her at a Mountlake Terrace home in September. >>Related: ‘Deadliest Catch’ star Blake Painter found dead in Oregon home A detective contacted Hansen’s wife, who confronted her husband about the allegations, court documents show. She told police that he denied the accusations at first, but eventually admitted to touching the girl inappropriately. >>Related: ‘Deadliest Catch’ star gets probation in Uber driver assault Hansen is deck boss and crew member of the Seattle-based crabbing boat featured on the Discovery Channel show “Deadliest Catch.”  The boat’s captain, Sig Hansen, is Edgar Hansen’s brother.
  • A registered sex offender wanted in three separate Houston-area slayings since Friday was caught early Tuesday morning following a brief police chase not far from where authorities say his alleged crime spree began. Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, 46, of Houston, was taken into custody while driving a gray 2017 Nissan Sentra that law enforcement officials said was stolen from one of the victims.  Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said during a media briefing Tuesday morning that an observant citizen called authorities shortly after 6 a.m. to report seeing the vehicle in Cypress, an unincorporated community northwest of Houston.  “It’s possible that he was casing the area in search of his next victim,” Gonzalez said during the briefing, which was attended and recorded by the Houston Chronicle.  A deputy in the area spotted the car and a 14-minute pursuit ensued. Rodriguez was taken into custody just before 7 a.m. A pistol was recovered from the stolen car, the sheriff said.  “We’re very relieved this morning,” Gonzalez said about Rodriguez’s capture.  >> Related story: Shooting deaths at mattress stores in Houston are linked, police say The sheriff said his agency had deputies positioned in the Cypress area before the suspect was spotted because the first crime attributed to Rodriguez, a July 9 home invasion and robbery, took place less than half a mile from where he was ultimately captured.  Rodriguez’s parents also live in the area and he grew up there, the sheriff confirmed.  The first homicide that Rodriguez is suspected of committing also took place in Cypress. Pamela Johnson, 62, was found shot to death in her home there Friday evening.  Gonzalez said during a news conference over the weekend that Johnson’s family became worried when no one could get in touch with her. The last time family members spoke to Johnson was around noon on July 10, the day after the home invasion about two and a half miles away.  >> Read more trending news Detectives investigating Johnson’s slaying found that personal property was stolen, including Johnson’s maroon 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser, the sheriff said. The PT Cruiser was found Saturday evening at Willowbrook Mall after a citizen reported seeing the vehicle aedbandoned in the parking lot. Mall surveillance video footage showed a man -- later identified by investigators as Rodriguez -- park the vehicle around 11 a.m. that morning. The man was seen on video walking through the mall and exiting the building on the opposite side from where he abandoned the victim’s car.  Around 7 p.m. that same night, the body of Mattress Firm manager Allie Barrow, 28, was found by a fellow employee, stuffed between two mattresses in the back of the store. The Mattress Firm store where Barrow was slain is in a strip mall across the street from Willowbrook Mall.  Barrow had been shot in the head, investigators said.  Gonzalez and Houston police Chief Art Acevedo, who held a joint news conference Monday afternoon to identify Rodriguez as a person of “strong interest” and ask for the public’s help in tracking him down, reported that a third homicide took place that morning at a Mattress One store in Houston, where a man was found shot to death.  The Nissan Rodriguez was driving when captured was taken from the scene of the Mattress One homicide, officials said. KPRC in Houston identified the victim of that killing as Edward Magana, 57.  A fourth person, a 22-year-old Metro Lift driver, was also shot in the abdomen and robbed Monday morning in Houston. Acevedo said that the bus driver was expected to survive.  The motive for the crimes was not known, Gonzalez said Tuesday morning. Neither he nor Acevedo detailed how Rodriguez was tied to all the crimes.  Rodriguez was released from prison in September, the Chronicle reported. Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jeremy Desel told the newspaper that his release was mandated by law, due to the amount of time he’d already served. Rodriguez, whose violent criminal history dates back to at least 1989, was on parole and was supposed to be on supervised release until 2023. He was ordered to wear an ankle monitor, but the Chronicle reported that he had tampered with it in the days before police and sheriff’s deputies began searching for him in connection with the homicides.  It was unclear if he was still wearing the disabled device when he was arrested.  Records accessed by the Chronicle showed that Rodriguez was sent to prison for attempted sex abuse, burglary and auto theft charges in 1989. Then 17, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. While in prison, he was charged in a theft case out of Montgomery County, for which he was sentenced to 10 years, with that time to run concurrently with his sentence on the previous charges.  Rodriguez was also found with a weapon while serving time, the Chronicle reported. Another 10 years was added to his sentence.  He served 28 years in prison before his release on parole last fall. Texas’ sex offender registry shows that Rodriguez was classified as high risk. 
  • A Downtown Jacksonville eyesore could soon be a riverfront entertainment destination.  The City of Jacksonville confirms Berkman Plaza II has been sold. The new developer is planning on building a hotel, riverfront entertainment area, and parking garage, according to a statement from Mayor Lenny Curry’s Chief of Staff Brian Hughes.  “Following months of collaborative discussions between the mayor, Choate Construction, and a new developer, we are one step closer to our commitment of ensuring that Jacksonville’s waterfront is put to its highest use,” the statement says.  Curry says he has been working for several years with the seller-Choate Construction- and the new developer- who is not being publicly named right now- to get the deal done. Hughes says the City’s understanding of the project is that the existing Berkman structure will be integrated in to the plans, because the structure is sound.  “The administration is incredibly excited about this agreement, and looks forward to continued discussions with the developer to identify next steps and efforts that will enable them to reach their goals,” Hughes says.  The statement further says work on the project is expected to begin this week, and more details about the plans will be released in the coming days. Curry says the developer is new to Jacksonville, but he declined to give any additional identifying information. He believes the sale is a win for the City and Downtown. “We will very soon be to the point where people will not be driving through our Downtown going ‘what is that eyesore, what is that trainwreck, what is that terrible building’,” Curry says. Berkman II has been dormant for years, after a parking garage collapsed while under construction in 2007, killing one person and injuring others. Choate took control in 2014, and has now sold the property. The sale was a private deal that did not involve any City dollars, although it remains to be seen whether the new developer will ask for City funding for the project. The sale comes at a time when many Downtown redevelopment projects are moving forward. The City plans to take down the Hart Bridge ramps, and the Laura Street Trio is undergoing work. Negotiations are still ongoing for redeveloping the Shipyards, and the Jaguars have also put forward a proposal for a massive redevelopment effort in the Sports Complex. Meanwhile, the City is  exploring what to put up at the site where  the old courthouse will be taken down- which could include a convention center. The Southbank is growing as well, with plans for “The District” moving forward.
  • After 30 years of random notes and taunting from the killer, Indiana authorities finally caught a break in the killing of an 8-year-old girl and made an arrest based on DNA evidence similar to how investigators caught the Golden State Killer, according to news reports. >> Read more trending news  Suspect John D. Miller, 59, was arrested Sunday at his home in Grabill, Indiana, and made a court appearance Monday in Allen County on charges related to the 1988 rape and murder of April Tinsley, WANE-TV reported. Tinsley was walking to a friend’s house in her Fort Wayne neighborhood when she was allegedly abducted and subsequently killed by Miller, authorities said. Police used DNA from the victim and from messages and condoms Miller left at three homes in the early 2000s to match Miller and his brother’s DNA in a genealogical database. Once they narrowed the suspect field down to two, it was just a matter of time before they were able to catch Miller, CNN reported. Miller’s DNA was found to be a match with DNA recovered from the victim’s underwear. >> Related: Police seek to ID Zodiac Killer through DNA after success with Golden State Killer When police showed up at his mobile home on Sunday and asked Miller if he knew why they were there, he reportedly said, “April Tinsley” and then confessed to the crime, according to local media reports. Miller’s next scheduled court appearance is Thursday. >> Related: ‘Golden State Killer’ suspect tracked down using DNA on genealogy website, officials say The Golden State Killer was finally caught in California in April after terrorizing the state between the mid-1970s and mid-80s. Investigators also used a genealogical database to match Joseph James DeAngelo Jr.’s DNA with evidence left at the crime scenes. DeAngelo is charged with killing 12 people and is accused of 50 rapes and more than 100 burglaries.
  • A North Carolina man is facing charges after he was accused of attempting to kill his wife by feeding her ant poison, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news Authorities on Monday charged Eugene Richard Pittman, 52, with attempted first-degree murder, The Fayetteville Observer reported.  According to the newspaper, the charge was filed after Pittman put Terro Ant Killer on his wife’s food on May 12. Pittman was charged with attempting to kill his wife “with malice and with specific intent to kill formed after premeditation and deliberation,” the Observer reported. An arrest warrant obtained by WTVD showed that Pittman’s wife “noticed a funny taste in her meal” while she was eating in May. She told authorities that she later fell asleep. “The woman said she woke up later to find that her hands and mouth were duct taped, and Eugene was holding her nose shut,” WTVD reported. “She said Eugene told her she had two choice: that she could leave or she could die.” Jail records showed Pittman had been released on bail by Tuesday afternoon.
  • President Donald Trump accepts the conclusion made by American intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections, the president said Tuesday, one day after telling reporters that he couldn’t see why Moscow would have interfered. >> Read more trending news >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: With Putin, Trump calls Russia probe a disaster  Trump on Monday stood beside Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and challenged the findings of American intelligence agencies that determined Moscow had interfered. Trump said he didn’t “see any reason why” Russia would have been involved, despite indictments handed down last week for a dozen of the country’s intelligence officers who are accused of election meddling. The indictments were part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election meddling and its possible ties to Trump and his campaign officials. >> 12 Russians indicted: Military officials accused of hacking DNC, stealing voter info On Tuesday, Trump said he misspoke when he said that he didn’t believe Russia meddled in the election. “In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,’” Trump told reporters in Washington. “The sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’” >> Photos: Trump, Putin meet at Helsinki summit He said he has “full faith and support for America’s intelligence agencies.” “Let me be totally clear in saying that ... I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’ meddling in the 2016 election took place,” Trump said. He emphasized that “there was no collusion at all” between Russia and Trump or his campaign officials.  >> More on Robert Mueller's investigation  In Helsinki, Trump delivered no condemnation of Russia's interference and refused to say he believes American intelligence agencies over Russia's denials of meddling. His comments drew criticism from both sides of the political aisle. The special counsel investigation of Russian meddling has led to charges against 32 people accused of crimes ranging from money laundering and falsifying income tax returns to lying to FBI investigators. Five people, including former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, have pleaded guilty to charges in the investigation. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • The price tag and time frame to reconstruct Liberty Street and Coastline Drive following a massive 2015 collapse, is now on the rise. New procurement documents filed with the City of Jacksonville show the contractor is asking for an additional $1,0260221.45. That company, Superior Construction Company Southeast, LLC, secured a $24.7 million contract for the Downtown project in July 2016. It’s the first time since the contract was agreed to that there is more funding being sought.  The good news, according to the City of Jacksonville, is that they have already budgeted $31 million for this overhaul, so this new funding request is within the contingency that’s already set aside.  The increase represents several areas, including a decision to replace 36 benches, nine trash cans, and 36 light poles, instead of repairing old ones. Some funding is will also be used for repairing the existing bulkhead wall under Liberty Street and relocating secondary powerlines. There is also $159,484.01 relating to Hurricane Irma- both for the movement of cranes, barges, and other equipment for the storm, as well as post-storm repairs.  There are two areas where some cost savings are being put toward the total price tag, preventing it from climbing higher. The documents show the City getting a more than $74,000 credit relating to changes dealing with a right-of-way, and $110,000 savings from deleting a temporary road from the project- although the later funding has already been reallocated to some landscaping modifications.  In addition to the price tag change, the work will also extend the construction time. The procurement documents show the construction was initially slated for completion this July. The new City schedule now says the final component of the project is scheduled to be done in March 2019.  Liberty Street at Coastline Drive collapsed in February 2015, about three years after a smaller collapse opened up on Liberty Street nearby. The overall rework that the City is taking on includes tearing down the old courthouse parking deck which is bordered by those streets, and rebuilding the roadways. Because the roads are over water, they’re technically considered bridge structures, and the rebuild also includes a new Riverwalk along them.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A nonprofit organization has announced a major donation to help pay off the mortgage on a slain Massachusetts police officer's family home. Weymouth police Sgt. Michael Chesna, 42, was shot and killed Sunday in the line of duty.  >> On Boston25News.com: Weymouth police Officer Michael Chesna posthumously promoted to sergeant The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is providing the first $100,000 toward the mortgage and is challenging others to support the family through the initiative. Any money raised exceeding the mortgage will go directly to Chesna's wife and two children. >> On Boston25News.com: Court docs: Man stood over Weymouth officer and shot him 10 times The foundation, established in memory of a fallen 9/11 firefighter, supports military and first responders who are killed in the line of duty. In addition to his service with the Weymouth Police Department, Chesna was also a military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. >> Read more trending news  Frank Siller, chairman and CEO of the foundation, will join Weymouth police Chief Richard Grimes at the Weymouth Police Department at 3 p.m. Wednesday to make the official announcement. Click here if you’d like to donate.
  • A Florida mother said her son saved her life in the seconds before a crash that claimed his life. >> Watch the news report here Greg Yutuc, 22, was the only person killed in a three-vehicle crash near Jacksonville's Buckman Bridge on Saturday afternoon. >> On ActionNewsJax.com: PHOTOS: University of North Florida student saves mom's life in I-295 crash, dad says Stitches lined Gerry Yutuc’s bruised eyelid and his wife, Charina, had a seat belt burn across her chest. “All I remember is seeing that red car and we are spinning around,” Gerry Yutuc said. They were headed back from their family vacation and were driving on I-295 with their three kids in their van when state troopers said a 21-year-old driver rear-ended another car, then cut off their van. “It was too late for me,” Yutuc said. Their son, Greg, was sitting in the passenger seat and grabbed the steering wheel at the last second. “So the impact could be on his side, to avoid the impact on mom,” Yutuc said. >> Read more trending news  Yutuc said the van flipped. “I looked around and saw four people. My wife, my two daughters and without Greg,” Yutuc said. Greg was thrown from the vehicle and an officer on scene told them their son didn’t make it. Florida Highway Patrol said Greg was not wearing a seat belt. “We didn’t have a chance to hug him and say goodbye,” Yutuc said. Since Greg was a child, he’s been on several mission trips and had plans of becoming a missionary, his parents said. “His heart is really sharing the gospel,” Yutuc said. In his 22 years, Yutuc said his only son affected many lives. “I know we have a great son, but I didn’t know the extent of his influence,” Yutuc said. >> On ActionNewsJax.com: Drivers concerned about safety on Buckman Bridge It was unconditional, selfless love they said Greg will be most remembered by. “He inspired us and we want to be an inspiration,” Yutuc said. The family said the community support has been overwhelming.
  • Tropical Storm Maria continues to churn in the Atlantic Ocean. The deadly storm has claimed lives on multiple islands in its path. >> Read more trending news 
  • “Deadliest Catch” reality TV fisherman Edgar Hansen pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a teenage girl at a home near Seattle, but isn’t expected to serve any jail time. Hansen, 47, received a 364-day suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to  fourth degree sexual assault with sexual motivation, the Associated Press reported. He was also ordered to undergo a sexual deviancy evaluation and give a DNA sample to authorities.  >> Read more trending news  According to court documents obtained by KIRO 7, a 16-year-old girl told her therapist that Hansen sexually assaulted her at a Mountlake Terrace home in September. >>Related: ‘Deadliest Catch’ star Blake Painter found dead in Oregon home A detective contacted Hansen’s wife, who confronted her husband about the allegations, court documents show. She told police that he denied the accusations at first, but eventually admitted to touching the girl inappropriately. >>Related: ‘Deadliest Catch’ star gets probation in Uber driver assault Hansen is deck boss and crew member of the Seattle-based crabbing boat featured on the Discovery Channel show “Deadliest Catch.”  The boat’s captain, Sig Hansen, is Edgar Hansen’s brother.
  • A registered sex offender wanted in three separate Houston-area slayings since Friday was caught early Tuesday morning following a brief police chase not far from where authorities say his alleged crime spree began. Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, 46, of Houston, was taken into custody while driving a gray 2017 Nissan Sentra that law enforcement officials said was stolen from one of the victims.  Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said during a media briefing Tuesday morning that an observant citizen called authorities shortly after 6 a.m. to report seeing the vehicle in Cypress, an unincorporated community northwest of Houston.  “It’s possible that he was casing the area in search of his next victim,” Gonzalez said during the briefing, which was attended and recorded by the Houston Chronicle.  A deputy in the area spotted the car and a 14-minute pursuit ensued. Rodriguez was taken into custody just before 7 a.m. A pistol was recovered from the stolen car, the sheriff said.  “We’re very relieved this morning,” Gonzalez said about Rodriguez’s capture.  >> Related story: Shooting deaths at mattress stores in Houston are linked, police say The sheriff said his agency had deputies positioned in the Cypress area before the suspect was spotted because the first crime attributed to Rodriguez, a July 9 home invasion and robbery, took place less than half a mile from where he was ultimately captured.  Rodriguez’s parents also live in the area and he grew up there, the sheriff confirmed.  The first homicide that Rodriguez is suspected of committing also took place in Cypress. Pamela Johnson, 62, was found shot to death in her home there Friday evening.  Gonzalez said during a news conference over the weekend that Johnson’s family became worried when no one could get in touch with her. The last time family members spoke to Johnson was around noon on July 10, the day after the home invasion about two and a half miles away.  >> Read more trending news Detectives investigating Johnson’s slaying found that personal property was stolen, including Johnson’s maroon 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser, the sheriff said. The PT Cruiser was found Saturday evening at Willowbrook Mall after a citizen reported seeing the vehicle aedbandoned in the parking lot. Mall surveillance video footage showed a man -- later identified by investigators as Rodriguez -- park the vehicle around 11 a.m. that morning. The man was seen on video walking through the mall and exiting the building on the opposite side from where he abandoned the victim’s car.  Around 7 p.m. that same night, the body of Mattress Firm manager Allie Barrow, 28, was found by a fellow employee, stuffed between two mattresses in the back of the store. The Mattress Firm store where Barrow was slain is in a strip mall across the street from Willowbrook Mall.  Barrow had been shot in the head, investigators said.  Gonzalez and Houston police Chief Art Acevedo, who held a joint news conference Monday afternoon to identify Rodriguez as a person of “strong interest” and ask for the public’s help in tracking him down, reported that a third homicide took place that morning at a Mattress One store in Houston, where a man was found shot to death.  The Nissan Rodriguez was driving when captured was taken from the scene of the Mattress One homicide, officials said. KPRC in Houston identified the victim of that killing as Edward Magana, 57.  A fourth person, a 22-year-old Metro Lift driver, was also shot in the abdomen and robbed Monday morning in Houston. Acevedo said that the bus driver was expected to survive.  The motive for the crimes was not known, Gonzalez said Tuesday morning. Neither he nor Acevedo detailed how Rodriguez was tied to all the crimes.  Rodriguez was released from prison in September, the Chronicle reported. Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman Jeremy Desel told the newspaper that his release was mandated by law, due to the amount of time he’d already served. Rodriguez, whose violent criminal history dates back to at least 1989, was on parole and was supposed to be on supervised release until 2023. He was ordered to wear an ankle monitor, but the Chronicle reported that he had tampered with it in the days before police and sheriff’s deputies began searching for him in connection with the homicides.  It was unclear if he was still wearing the disabled device when he was arrested.  Records accessed by the Chronicle showed that Rodriguez was sent to prison for attempted sex abuse, burglary and auto theft charges in 1989. Then 17, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. While in prison, he was charged in a theft case out of Montgomery County, for which he was sentenced to 10 years, with that time to run concurrently with his sentence on the previous charges.  Rodriguez was also found with a weapon while serving time, the Chronicle reported. Another 10 years was added to his sentence.  He served 28 years in prison before his release on parole last fall. Texas’ sex offender registry shows that Rodriguez was classified as high risk. 

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