Gary Speed, the Welsh soccer team manager, was not depressed and had not argued with his wife before being found hanged at his home, says Hayden Evans, his agent and a close friend.
Gary Speed’s agent and best man Hayden Evans said of his friend was “happily married” and that his widow Louise is bewildered by his suspected suicide.
Hayden Evans said: “They were happily married and anyone who knows them will tell you that. This is why it is a mystery.
“We genuinely at the moment have no clue whatsoever what has caused it and I have been with the family all day.
“Everybody is asking the same question and no one has an answer. We are all in shock.”
When asked about the circumstances behind Gary Speed’s death and whether he had argued with Louise before killing himself, Hayden Evans added: “Louise is saying that’s not the case. She just doesn’t understand it.”
Gary Speed, the Welsh soccer team manager, was not depressed and had not argued with his wife before being found hanged at his home, says Hayden Evans, his agent and a close friend
When asked if Gary Speed had suffered bouts of depression, Hayden Evans told The Sun “none whatsoever”.
Hayden Evans said: “The one thing the family and me as one of his closest friends would totally refute is that. There was no indication of any problems and never has been.”
Gary Speed, 42, appeared happy as he left the BBC studios in Salford on Saturday afternoon after filming Football Focus. Louise Speed found him hanged in the garage of their £1.5 million ($2.3 million) mansion near Chester just after 7:00 a.m. on Sunday.
On Monday, as tributes to Gary Speed continued to pour in from across the sporting world, police were preparing for the delicate task of speaking to his wife, Louise, 40, and their two teenage sons.
As they struggled to come to terms with his death, Hayden Evans spoke of how they had been “overwhelmed” by the outpouring of sympathy over the past 24 hours.
“Gary’s family would sincerely like to thank all the people who have sent messages of condolence and tributes in what is a very difficult time,” said Hayden Evans.
“They have been overwhelmed by the support – it really has helped. You can imagine how Louise is feeling.”
A pile of tributes including flowers, footballs and soccer shirts was growing at the gates at the end of Gary Speed’s drive last night as a steady stream of fans came to pay their respects.
Yesterday officials at the Welsh Football Association promised to support the family and offer them a “shoulder to cry on” in the coming weeks.
Chief executive Jonathan Ford said: “I’ve no understanding of why it happened, I don’t know the answer and I don’t think we ever will.
“At the moment our thoughts aren’t with that – they are with Gary’s family.
“He was a family man, he loved his wife and children.
“We will do whatever we can to help Louise and the boys.”
Both Gary Speed’s sons are promising sportsmen, 14-year-old Ed is a talented footballer and his 13-year-old brother Tommy a keen boxer.
Cheshire Police confirmed that Gary Speed’s death was being treated as “non-suspicious”.
An inquest will be opened and adjourned today in Warrington.
Three wealthy bankers from Connecticut, who came forward to claim a $254 million record Powerball jackpot are facing claims that they were not in fact the real winners.
An anonymous man – one of the bankers clients – is said to have actually purchased the ticket but came to Tim Davidson, Brandon Lacoff and Greg Skidmore to avoid the “hassle” of his name becoming public.
They then allegedly set up a trust “as a front” so that Tim Davidson, Brandon Lacoff and Greg Skidmore could be the public face of the win.
In a further twist, it was also claimed that rather than donate a large proportion of the money to charity, the winner has requested that the majority just be invested for his personal gain.
The explosive claims blow apart the fairytale story that Tim Davidson bought the ticket at a gas station in Greenwich Connecticut for $1.
It would also explain the bankers’ sheepish performance at a press conference to collect their “jackpot”, during which they refused to discuss their relationship with each other.
It had been suggested that Tim Davidson bought his ticket on November 1 and the following day they realized their numbers had come up, beating odds of 195,249,054 to one.
The jackpot was the largest ever won in Connecticut and the 12th biggest in Powerball history.
The jackpot was the largest ever won in Connecticut and the 12th biggest in Powerball history
It means the three bankers will take the after-tax lump sum of nearly $104 million in cash between them.
Now, according to a family friend who has known Brandon Lacoff since he was a boy, the truth behind what happened is very different.
Tom Gladstone said that a client at investment company Belpointe LLC, which was founded by Brandon Lacoff and provides investment advice, much of it to wealthy individuals, was the real winner.
He, Tim Davidson and Greg Skidmore then set up the Putnam Avenue Family Trust which will allow the man to keep out of the spotlight.
Tom Gladstone, a real estate agent who rents Brandon Lacoff the Belpointe office space, said: “The person who really won it is anonymous.
“They set up the trust so that Brandon and his two partners could claim they won it and that the real winner wouldn’t get hassled.
“They have said they are going to give it to charity but they are going to manage the money. They are going to make a donation but they keeping a large proportion of the money and they are going to manage it.
“The winner is a client of theirs and their clients are a mixture of larger and smaller investors. By Wall Street standards they are not big players.
“They set up the trust as a front to ensure their client anonymity. It clearly took them some time to work it out as they won on November 1, realized the next day and have only now come forward.
“I saw Brandon last Friday and he didn’t say a word to me. They are smart, rich Greenwich men.”
Tom Gladstone added that he had known Brandon Lacoff’s father Marty, an anti-trust lawyer, for 30 years and that the family were “hard working people”.
He said: “Brandon is a good kid, I don’t know how else to describe him. Obviously the client is putting their faith in him to look after this very substantial amount.”
According to the story which has been told so far, Tim Davidson bought the $1 quick pick ticket for the November 2 drawing at the Shippan Point BP gas station in Stamford. It was the only ticket he bought.
During the press conference Tim Davidson and his two colleagues sat stoically at a conference table sipping bottled water as Jason Kurland, the group’s attorney, answered questions but declined to address basic issues about the win.
Jason Kurland said: “Obviously, everybody is extremely excited. These numbers are huge. This is going to benefit many people.
“From the first conversation I had with them, it was very philanthropic. Charities was definitely, probably No. 1 on their priority list.”
As they were leaving the news conference, Greg Skidmore stopped at the microphone to identify himself and his partners and said: “And it feels good,” before leaving the room.
The winning numbers were 12-14-34-39-46, Powerball 36.
Lottery officials had used billboards across the state to urge the ticket holder to come forward as the weeks went by without a winner.
Jason Kurland said the group called him the day after the draw.
He said: “They thought they were the winners, and then, that night, I think, one of the local TV stations had the numbers, and the Powerball number was wrong on the TV screen, so that put them into a little bit of a tizzy.
“But the news, to their credit, corrected it a few hours later, and they were confident they had it.”
According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Belpointe manages $82 million which makes it a boutique investment firm by the standards of many New York finance houses.
Brandon Lacoff was an accountant for Ernst & Young before founding an investment company known Belray capital, which became Belpointe LLC.
He “owns a number of properties and businesses throughout the region”, according to the Belpointe website.
Greg Skidmore, the company’s president and chief investment officer, formerly worked as an investment banker for a subsidiary of AXA Financial Services and Citigroup.
He is a former member of the U.S. sailing team who was once an Olympic hopeful, according to the company’s website.
Greg Skidmore is also the grandson of Louis Skidmore, the notable American architect and founder of the firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, which created the Sears Tower in Chicago amongst other buildings.
Tim Davidson started his career at a French bank where he worked in foreign exchange before moving on to advise companies, hedge funds and “ultra high worth” individuals.
An eight-year-old boy, third grade student from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, has been removed from his home after he grew to 218 pounds, weighing nearly as much as four of his age children.
The boy was put in foster care by social workers from the Department of Children and Family Services because his mother isn’t doing enough to control his weight, the state agency says.
The “severely obese” boy requires so much medical attention, the state agency is considering getting a personal trainer to visit his foster home so he can lose weight.
The child, whose name was not made public, is otherwise a normal elementary school student who participates in school activities and makes the honor roll, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
The average weight for an eight-year-old boy is 57 pounds – about one quarter of what the Ohio boy weighs.
Ohio social workers said the child’s mother is neglecting her son because she’s not doing enough to bring his weight down.
“This child’s problem was so severe that we had to take custody,” Mary Louise Madigan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Family Services, told the Plain Dealer.
But the mother, who was also not identified, said she has worked hard to get her son to shed pounds. She just hasn’t been able to get him to keep it off.
“Of course I love him. Of course I want him to lose weight. It’s a lifestyle change, and they are trying to make it seem like I am not embracing that. It is very hard, but I am trying,” the mother told the Plain Dealer.
The case has set off debates about the point at which childhood weight problems become child abuse, especially when nearly 20% of children aged 6 to 11 are obese.
Dr. David Ludwig, a Harvard University pediatric obesity expert, says severe obesity in children can cause diabetes, cholesterol problems, sleep apnea and other conditions that could dramatically shorten the child's lifespan
Dr. David Ludwig, a Harvard University pediatric obesity expert, says severe obesity in children can cause diabetes, cholesterol problems, sleep apnea and other conditions that could dramatically shorten the child’s lifespan.
Arthur Caplan, a University of Pennsylvania ethicist, said obesity isn’t like other things that have been labeled child abuse.
“A third of kids are fat. We aren’t going to move them all to foster care. We can’t afford it, and I’m not sure there are enough foster parents to do it,” Arthur Caplan told the Plain Dealer.
Richard Brian Suttles, who was shot by his aunt Mary Ann Holder died on Friday, bringing the death toll from last weekend massacre outside in Guilford, North Carolina, to six, including the shooter.
Richard Brian Suttles, 17, who had been shot on Sunday along with four other minors and one adult by his aunt Mary Ann Holder, died shortly before 1:00 p.m. on Friday, Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes said.
Along with Richard Brian Suttles, Mary Ann Holder killed her two sons, eight-year-old niece, and the 15-year-old girlfriend of one of her sons before killing herself.
Mary Ann Holder, 36, also shot her married lover, Randall Lamb, in the shoulder, and police say he’s expected to recover, the Associated Press reports.
She had been having an affair with Randall Lamb, 40, for almost 4 years, but it was coming to an end after months of bitter accusations between her, Lamb and his wife, including allegations of stalking and harassment.
Mary Ann Holder shot Randall Lamb on Sunday morning at a community college parking lot, and then drove away to pick up her son, 14-year-old Zachary Smith.
Within a half-hour, a sheriff’s deputy found Mary Ann Holder dead inside her SUV with a gun in her lap and her son mortally wounded in the back seat.
Police went to her home in the Pleasant Grove community south of Greensboro and found her son, 17-year-old Robert Dylan Smith, dead.
Her newphew, Richard Brian Suttles, 17, her son girfriend, Makayla Leigh Woods, 15, and her niece, Hannaleigh Suttles, 8, were all suffering from wounds that would prove to be fatal.
Along with Richard Brian Suttles, Mary Ann Holder killed her two sons, eight-year-old niece, and the 15-year-old girlfriend of one of her sons before killing herself
Hannaleigh Suttles died on Monday. She was followed by Mary Ann Holder son Zachary Smith a day later and Makalaya Leigh Woods on Wednesday.
The victims at Mary Ann Holder’s home appeared to have been shot while they slept in a bedroom and the living room, according to Chief Deputy, Col. Randy Powers. The woman left two notes taking responsibility for the killings.
Police officers found two handguns inside the vehicle, including one in Mary Ann Holder’s lap.
Police are continuing to investigate the case. An autopsy has been performed on Mary Ann Holder and police are waiting for the results of toxicology tests, but Col. Randy Powers said it initially appears there were no signs of drug use.
Mary Ann Holder, Randall Lamb and his wife had spent months trading accusations of stalking and harassment in court documents. Randall Lamb’s wife had recently threatened to file an alienation of affection lawsuit against Holder, investigators said.
Police are investigating a $10,000 cheque made out to Randall Lamb’s wife that Mary Ann Holder gave him the day before the shootings, according to an application for a search warrant obtained by The News & Record of Greensboro.
Police say the cheque may have been for an out-of-court settlement of some kind.
Despite that, and despite two notes left by Mary Ann Holder taking responsibility for the shootings, police say a definite motive is not yet clear.
“This will be the $64,000 question, because we don’t have anyone alive who can answer it,” Col. Randy Powers said.
“A couple of theories have gone up in the air, but we really don’t know yet.”
Mary Ann Holder reportedly had custody of her nephew and niece after their mother died.
Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President” is among the most famous and suggestive songs ever sung in public.
Now it appears that her sexy rendition of “Happy Birthday Mr. President” had a more mundane reason why it was so provocative – she was out of breath.
Marilyn Monroe apparently got lost while heading toward the stage at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1962 to sing for John F. Kennedy.
As the actress ran around trying to find the right door she ran out of breath – so was unable to sing properly – as she got to the stage so late.
Instead Marilyn Monroe’s version of “Happy Birthday” came across as rather more sensual than she may have intended, earning it an unintended place in history.
Marilyn Monroe apparently got lost while heading toward the stage at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1962 to sing for John F. Kennedy
The surprising disclosure was made by American actress Joan Copeland, 89, who was there on the night.
Joan Copeland is the younger sister of playwright Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe’s former husband.
She said that Marilyn Monroe was so late to go on stage that night that she missed her cue.
Watching her “running around trying to find a door”, Joan Copeland noticed that Marilyn Monroe was out of breath and anxious.
Rat Pack singer Peter Lawford announced her entrance but when she did not emerge he joked that she was the “late Marilyn Monroe”.
Upon finally coming on stage, Marilyn Monroe stunned the audience with her backless flesh coloured gown with 2,500 rhinestones sewn into it.
The Jean Louis dress was apparently so tight that it had to be sewn on to her naked body – yet it was the rendition of the song which caused all the attention.
Marilyn Monroe performance was given an extra charge because of rumors of an affair between herself and JFK, which have been picked over by fans of both ever since.
When Marilyn Monroe had finished singing JFK came on stage and, in reference to the highly suggestive performance, said: “I can now retire from politics after having had Happy Birthday sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.”
The event, which was not attended by Jackie Kennedy, took place on May 19 1962 to mark his 45th birthday, which fell ten days later.
The following November JFK was gunned down by Lee Harvey Oswald.
The dress worn by Marilyn Monroe, who died in 1962 at the age of 36, has since become as famous as the song itself.
In 1999 it went up for auction in New York and sold for $1.26 million, a record for a gown worn by her at the time.
Karen Perry faces every mother’s worst nightmare as she struggles to come to terms with losing all her three children in a plane crash on the eve of Thanksgiving at Superstition Mountains, Arizona.
Morgan Perry, 9, and her brothers Logan, 8, and Luke, 6, all died in the plane crash, along with their father Shawn Perry, 39, and two other adults.
The three children had gone with their father, who is divorced from Karen Perry, so that they could spend Thanksgiving with him.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told ABCNews.com:
“It’s traumatic for any parent to hear this, and then just the nature of the crash is horrific.
“We just want to be there for her and love her and embrace her during this difficult time at Thanksgiving.
“No one could have survived that crash.”
Karen Perry faces every mother's worst nightmare as she struggles to come to terms with losing all her three children in a plane crash on the eve of Thanksgiving at Superstition Mountains, Arizona
The other pilot was identified as Russell Hardy, 31, of Thatcher, Arizona, and the mechanic was Joseph Hardwick, 22, of Safford.
The impact split the private aircraft, causing a massive fireball captured on video and seen for miles around, and left officials with little hope of finding survivors.
According to witnesses, there was a fireball and an explosion.
“I looked up and saw this fireball and it rose up,” Dave Dibble told KPHO-TV.
“All of a sudden, boom.”
Rescue crews flown in by helicopter to reach the crash site reported finding two debris fields on fire, suggesting that the plane broke apart on impact.
“The fuselage is stuck down into some of the crevices of this rough terrain,” Sheriff Paul Babeu said.
“This is not a flat area, this is jagged peaks, almost like a cliff-type rugged terrain.”
Shawn Perry had collected his three children from Canyon, Arizona, where they lived with their mother, to take them to Safford for Thanksgiving.
The father was about 100 miles east of Phoenix when he ran into trouble.
The tiny two-engine plane burst into flames after colliding with the Flat Iron section of the mountains, which are 45 miles east of Phoenix, just below their peak, witnesses reported.
Sheriff Paul Babeu said he was in close contact with the mother of the children.
“We have been aggressively searching and recovering,” he said.
“It’s almost like an 80 percent incline so because of that, you can imagine where debris tumbled to.”
Sheriff Paul Babeu said there are “multiple fatalities”. The body of a child between the ages of 5 and 9 has been recovered at the scene, he said. But authorities have been unable to determine whether it is the body of a boy or girl, he added.
The private aircraft was a twin-engine Rockwell AC690, authorities said.
Its registered owner is Ponderosa Aviation Inc. of Safford, Arizona, according to FAA records.
A video uploaded to YouTube from a greyscale webcam shows a small white light moving from the left side of the screen to the right.
About 50 seconds into the footage the light disappears.
A few seconds later there is a sudden flash of light, then more light remains as the fires burn on the mountain.
A local resident took the video from his home in Gold Canyon, roughly seven miles away from the crash site, ABC News reported.
The Superstition Mountains’ elevation is about 5,000 feet at their highest level.
The photogenic area near Lost Dutchman State Park and the Superstition Wilderness is filled with steep canyons.
Its soaring rocky outcroppings are popular with hikers and horse riders.
Apache myth holds that the mountains contain a hole that is an entrance to the underworld.
The 85th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade took the streets of Manhattan in its spectacular style in front of 3 million spectators who watched the fourteen giant helium balloons, including Buzz Lightyear and SpongeBob SquarePants.
The US biggest singing stars also came to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2011 to entertain the crowds, including award-winning singers Cee Lo Green, Mary J.Blige and Neil Diamond.
At a 40 F temperatures, the crowd was entertained by the helium-filled balloons, including Clumsy Smurf, Kermit the Frog – and some newcomers, as Julius The Monkey.
Paul Frank’s sock puppet-inspired monkey Julius made its debut as a 41-foot-tall balloon. The crowds chanted “Jul-i-us! Jul-i-us!” as it passed.
Julius The Monkey was followed by “B”- a spooky character covered in stitches created by filmmaker Tim Burton.
And making their first appearance at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade were a pair of bike-powered balloons, one featuring a large green elf designed by Queens resident Keith Lapinig, who won a nationwide contest with more than 10,000 entries.
But there were also some much-loved favourites, including video game character Sonic the Hedgehog, who returned after an 18-year absence, and a navel-themed Mickey Mouse.
They were joined by SpongeBob SquarePants, Snoopy, Spiderman and Kermit the Frog.
With a 40-ft Sonic the Hedgehog at its helm, the 85th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade kicked off in spectacular style
As the balloons, held up by scores of rope-bearers, snaked along the route, crowds were also entertained by the top vocal talents, including Cee Lo Green, Country singer Rodney Atkins and American Idol winner Scotty McCreery.
Canadian singer Avril Lavigne sat on a float featuring a giant fattened turkey as she sang, followed by a musical set from the colourful cast of Sesame Street.
Brass bands from high schools and colleges around the country also marched along the route, such as the Nation Ford High School from South Carolina, which included sixteen sets of siblings.
Macy’s Great American Marching Band, with trombones, tubas and booming drums, led the march.
Ana Santiago, 34, a said receptionist from Park Slope, Brooklyn said:
“The parade makes you enjoy life.”
“You see the kids cheering and celebrating, and that makes the day.”
“It’s a tradition,” Ana Santiago added.
“New Yorkers should take advantage of it. You never know what you’ll see.”
The parade followed high-energy performances from glitzy cheerleaders and characters from Broadway show How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, including Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe.
In total, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade boasted more than 40 smaller balloons, 27 floats, 800 clowns and 1,600 cheerleaders as an estimated 50 million people watched the television coverage from home.
Floats included a mini version of Mount Rushmore from the South Dakota Department of Tourism. The grey granite structure also featured Black Hills National Forest and Badlands National Park in an effort to drive more visitors to the state.
Grammy winner Neil Diamond performed on the float as it moved through the streets.
The crowd on Seventh Avenue started singing “Sweet Caroline! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” as the singer waved.
Ronald McDonald, joined by scores of waving children, drove a large red shoe float. It pulled along a giant helium float of the food chain’s grinning ambassador.
Another float featured popular cartoon character Dora the Explorer alongside children dressed as Christmas presents. Olympian ice skater Johnny Weir waved to the crowds as he rode on a white horse float.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2011 started at 77th Street and headed south on Central Park West to Seventh Avenue, before moving to Sixth Avenue and ending at Macy’s Herald Square.
Despite fears that stormy weather would batter the balloons, the balloons floated under blue skies.
Joe Sullivan, a balloon handler, who has been volunteering at the parade for more than 15 years, held a line securing a huge floating pumpkin.
“When it’s windy it’s a struggle,” Joe Sullivan said.
“But today is great weather. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Thousands of children flocked to the event, which closed with Santa Claus riding on a sleigh float and waving to the spectators.
“We’ve been up since two o’clock in the morning,” said Jodi Caplan, 40, of Westtown, in upstate Orange County, who brought her two kids to witness the festivities.
“It’s their first parade. This is the perfect day – perfect weather.”
The giant balloons were created at Macy’s Parade Studio, and each undergoes testing for flight patterns, aerodynamics, buoyancy and lift.
The helium heavies were inflated on Wednesday across the street from the western side of Central Park.
Thousands of people, many families with children in tow, were drawn to the spectacle of the balloons lying as if asleep on the streets, held down by weighted nets.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade got its start in 1924 and included live animals such as camels, goats and elephants. It was not until 1927 that the live animals were replaced by giant helium balloons. The parade was suspended from 1942 to 1944 because rubber and helium were needed for World War II.
Since the beginning, the balloons have been based on popular cultural characters and holiday themes.
A family of six is feared dead after a plane crashed into Arizona’ Superstition Mountains last night in a tragic Thanksgiving accident.
After the crash, the plane was split out, causing a massive fireball captured on video and seen for miles around, and left officials with little hope of finding survivors.
It is believed that the pilot has been collecting his children, with three understood to be aged between 5 and 9, for the Thanksgiving holiday and was returning home when the tiny two-engine plane crashed in the ominously-named mountain range.
There were three children and three adults on board, a spokesperson for Falcon Executive Aviation flight school in Mesa told CBS5. It is believed they are all be related.
A family of six is feared dead after a plane crashed into Arizona' Superstition Mountains last night in a tragic Thanksgiving accident
The pilot had flown into Falcon Field airport and was en route back home to Safford airfield, about 100 miles east of Phoenix, when he ran into trouble.
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told FOX 10 there are “multiple fatalities”. The body of a child between the ages of 5 and 9 has been recovered at the scene, he said.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Elias Johnson said there appeared to be no survivors. The six casualties were all believed to be members of the same family, the LA Times reported.
The plane burst into flames after colliding with the mountains, which are 45 miles east of Phoenix, just below their peak, witnesses reported.
“This is some of the toughest country you can experience,” Elias Johnson said.
“That plane is all over the place up there.”
Emergency crews have begun the hike to access the wreckage in the rugged terrain to begin the search for possible survivors.
A 12-person rescue team began hiking to the site about 9:00 p.m., but the combination of the terrain and the darkness means that it will take some six hours until workers are able to reach the crash site.
Rescue crews were tonight trying to land helicopters in the mountainous area about 40 miles east of downtown Phoenix in order to search for survivors.
Helicopter rescue teams reported seeing two debris field on fire, suggesting the plane broke apart on impact with the jagged rocks.
“The fuselage is stuck down into some of the crevices of this rough terrain, and we’re doing our best at this point in the darkness,” Paul Babeau said.
“This is not a flat area. This is jagged peaks, almost like a cliff-type rugged terrain.”
No survivors had yet been found, he said. But “we will search throughout the night”.
According to authorities, the private aircraft was a twin-engine Rockwell AC69.
The aircraft registered owner is Ponderosa Aviation Inc. of Safford, Arizona, according to FAA records.
A video uploaded to YouTube from a greyscale webcam shows a small white light moving from the left side of the screen to the right.
About 50 seconds into the footage the light disappears.
A few seconds later there is a sudden flash of light, then more light remains as the fires burn on the mountain.
A local resident took the video from his home in Gold Canyon, roughly seven miles away from the crash site, ABC News reported.
Graham said 911 calls began coming in around 6:30 p.m. on Friday after an explosion near the Flat Iron area close to Lost Dutchman State Park.
“People said it sounded like fireworks going off,” Graham said.
One witness told CNN that a mushroom cloud of flames lit up the evening sky.
Another local observer Ronnie Brant told KPHO TV the plane seemed to be having engine trouble.
Some witnesses said they heard a plane trying to rev its engines to climb higher before apparently hitting the mountains.
The Superstition Mountains’ elevation is about 5,000 feet at their highest level.
The photogenic area near Lost Dutchman State Park and the Superstition Wilderness is filled with steep canyons, soaring rocky outcroppings and is popular with hikers and horse riders.
Apache myth holds that the mountains contain a hole that is an entrance to the underworld.
Treasure hunters who frequent the area have been looking for the legendary Lost Dutchman mine for more than a century.
Mary Ann Holder, a jilted lover from Guilford, North Carolina, shot her former boyfriend and five other people before killing herself, as was revealed by the man’s wife to 911 operators.
Jennifer Lamb, whose husband Randall Lamb, 40, was blasted in the shoulder by Mary Ann Holder, 36, after he ended their tryst, admitted to 911 operators that her spouse had been having an affair.
Jennifer Lamb, who had reportedly filed a restraining order against Mary Ann Holder in February after alleging that she would call,text and send nude photos of herself to Jennifer Lamb, told operators: “I don’t know exactly what happened, but my husband has been shot.
“He’s on his way… He’s getting ready to – umm… he just called me and said he was on the highway and that he had been shot.
“He was at – I don’t know for sure… I think he was at his work.
“And this woman who he had had an affair with… she was there when he got there and she shot him.”
Mary Ann Holder, a jilted lover from Guilford, North Carolina, shot her former boyfriend and five other people before killing herself
Mary Ann Holder went on to shoot her sons Robert Dylan Smith 17, and Zachary Smith, 14, in the head, instantly killing the eldest, before firing at Robert’s girlfriend, Makayla Woods, 15, and killing her niece, Hannaleigh Suttles, 8.
The woman also injured her her 17-year-old nephew, Richard Suttles during the rampage on Sunday.
Finally, in the final twist of her murderous rampage, Mary Ann Holder turned the gun on herself and committed suicide.
“We’ve got death. We’ve got drama. We’ve got a situation basically no one could ever imagine,” Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes said yesterday.
While Sheriff BJ Barnes expanded upon the grisly details, he called it “one of the worst situations I’ve seen in my 30 years in law enforcement”.
Mary Ann Holder left behind two notes taking responsibility for the shootings.
Sheriff BJ Barnes said she apologized for the pain she caused.
But she also said she felt “wronged”.
The tragedy began to unfold shortly before 9:00 a.m. Sunday when Mary Ann Holder met her onetime boyfriend Randall Lamb in the parking lot of the Guilford Technical Community College Aviation Centre.
They spoke briefly before she shot at him multiple times, before a bullet struck him in the shoulder, investigators said.
Randall Lamb is in stable condition.
Randall Lamb’s wife called 911, saying her husband had been shot, prompting police officers to being a search for Mary Ann Holder.
Deputies went to Mary Ann Holder’s one-level brick residence on nearby Cocoa Drive in Pleasant Garden around 9:30 a.m.
They were stationed outside her home, but a deputy spotted her car driving down the street about an hour later.
Police officer said he saw a “puff of smoke” in the car and found Mary Ann Holder dead and her son Zachary shot in the head. The boy remains in critical condition.
Deputies recovered two handguns inside the vehicle, one in Mary Ann Holder’s lap, the sheriff said.
The officers then went into her home and discovered her son Robert dead.
Robert Dylan Smith’s girlfriend, Makayla Woods was injured along with Mary Ann Holder’s niece, eight-year-old Hannaleigh Suttles, and her 17-year-old nephew, Richard Suttles.
Mary Ann Holder reportedly had custody of her nephew and niece after their mother died.
Hannahleigh Suttles died on Monday of her injuries. The other two remain in critical condition.
Investigators were trying to unravel the violent chain of events and understand why Mary Ann Holder took out her rage on children.
Sheriff BJ Barnes said: “They were obviously shot for the purpose of killing them. You can call it an execution, you can call it a shooting, you can call it whatever you want. The result is the same. We may never know exactly what her thoughts were and why.”
Authorities said Monday they were still trying to determine when the victims in Mary Ann Holder’s home were shot and whether it happened before or after she met with Randall Lamb.
Liam and Noel Gallagher’s mother, Peggy, has told her sons to “sort it out themselves” after they became embroiled in a bitter legal battle.
Liam and Noel Gallagher, former Oasis bandmates, worth a cool £63 million ($95 million) combined, have always been more famous for offstage antics than their onstage performances.
Noel Gallagher, 44, who left Oasis in 2009, charted the end of band in a 14 page document lodged at the High Court.
Liam and Noel Gallagher's mother, Peggy, has told her sons to "sort it out themselves" after they became embroiled in a bitter legal battle
In the explosive documents, Noel Gallagher reveals the disintegration of Oasis from its glory years in the early nineties to today.
The Daily Mirror reported Noel Gallagher’s version of events given in a legal document in response to his brother’s libel action.
When quizzed at her Manchester home over whether she was upset, Peggy Gallagher simply said “yes”.
Noel Gallagher claimed his brother left abusive voicemail messages on his wife Sara MacDonald’s phone, tried to attack him with his guitar and disrupted gigs after drinking too much.
The legal documents also describe how Noel regarded Liam Gallagher as “spiteful and childish” for mocking him onstage.
Since the band split in 2009, Liam and Noel Gallagher have been fighting it out professionally and personally with very public spats.
This court case originated after Noel claimed Liam Gallagher missed the 2009 V Festival gig in Chelmsford because he was hungover.
Even though Noel apologized, Liam Gallagher has launched a libel action against him which is ongoing.
In the papers filed in his defence, lodged on November 1, Noel Gallagher makes a string of allegations against his younger brother Liam.
The older brother claims before he quit the band in August 2009, they were not talking after Noel refused to allow ‘free advertising’ for Liam Gallagher’s clothing range Pretty Green in the band’s promotional material.
According to some reports, Noel Gallagher said he would allow free advertising “over his dead body”.
This spelled the end for the band with Liam Gallagher starting to wind his brother up and dedicate songs to Pretty Green staff onstage.
Noel Gallagher claims it was this “spiteful and childish” nature which led him to leave the band he started with his brother.
His lawyers detail 12 times from 1994 to 2005 where Liam Gallagher allegedly “disrupted” gigs by storming out, being drunk or getting into fights.
But Noel Gallagher has scored a point against brother Liam, shooting to the top of the Official Charts with his first solo album in October.
The songwriter flew into number one with his aptly-named debut release Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
Liam Gallagher’s post-Oasis band Beady Eye peaked only at number three when they released Different Gear, Still Speeding last year.
Last night a spokesman for Liam Gallagher said: “After Noel apologized the matter is now in the hands of lawyers.”
Robin Gibb, the Bee Gees star, who has been diagnosed with liver cancer, was rushed to hospital this week following a 999 call from his home.
Robin Gibb, 61, was diagnosed with liver cancer several months ago, and has since cancelled several public appearances.
The singer spent five hours in hospital on Tuesday before being allowed back home, where he was joined by his mother Barbara, 91, and his older brother Barry.
Barry Gibb has flown in from the US to be with his sibling.
It has been no secret that Robin Gibb has become frail over the last few months.
Robin Gibb, the Bee Gees star, who has been diagnosed with liver cancer, was rushed to hospital this week following a 999 call from his home
Robin Gibb was treated for inflammation of the colon in October after being taken by ambulance to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
The singer was discharged after four days, but said to be in severe pain.
Robin Gibb lives in an £8 million ($12 million) 12th Century home in Thame, Oxon,with his wife Dwina.
“Robin is not good and there is a lot of concern for him,” a friend has said, according to the Sunday Mirror.
“You can use your wealth to call in the best experts but sometimes no amount of fame, prestige and money can change things when it comes to cancer.
“But Robin is a strong character, he is a fighter and has been encouraged by all the online messages from his fans.
“Dwina is doing everything possible and hasn’t left his side.”
His wife is reportedly trying to persuade Robin Gibb to visit a Native American medicine man.
“This incredible Indian tribe introduced Robin and I to something called Spider Medicine that apparently contains properties that can help you get well from certain untreatable illnesses,” said the druid priestess.
“There will be difficult times ahead but Robin will never give up and his loving family will make sure he has everything he needs. There is frustration because Robin has always looked after himself. He doesn’t drink, eats well and exercises daily,” the friend added.
Robin Gibb spoke in an interview with new Sky Arts show Living The Life, broadcast tonight, about his inability to accept the death of his twin brother Maurice.
Robin Gibb described Maurice’s death at 53 as “something I haven’t accepted”, adding:
“I just imagine he is out there somewhere and I will bump into him one day.”
The Bee Gees disbanded after Maurice’s death, having sold 200 million records worldwide with hits such as Night Fever and Stayin’ Alive.
Robin Gibb’s younger brother Andy died in 1988 aged 30 after struggling with a cocaine addiction.
“It is incredibly sad for Barbara. First she lost her son Andy, then Maurice and now she has to cope with seeing Robin like this,” said a friend, according to the Sunday Mirror.
“It is a lot for a mother, particular of her age, to deal with. Barry has also been there for his brother and a lot of friends have been rallying round.”
Robin Gibb cancelled a US tour in April due to extreme stomach pain.
The star had part of his intestine removed in an emergency procedure last year, after suffering blockage similar to that which killed his brother Maurice.
Robin Gibb was quick to squash claims last month that his condition was worsening, saying: “I’m feeling great, absolutely great. I’m working on the Titanic Requiem at the moment and it’s going really well.“
New York City is facing now major disruption as tens of thousands of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are expected to flood into Manhattan as the movement celebrates its two-month anniversary.
Occupy Wall Street activists began amassing in lower Manhattan shortly after 7:00 a.m. on Thursday to begin a “day of action” in which they are expected to try to paralyze New York City’s subway system.
Wednesday night Nkrumah Tinsley, 29, was arrested on a charge of making a terrorist threat after he was caught on video threatening to attack Macy’s with a Molotov cocktail during today’s protest.
In the footage posted on YouTube after police evicted protesters from their encampment, Nkrumah Tinsley was recorded telling the crowd: “On the 17th, we’re going to burn New York City to the ground!”
Later in the video, Nkrumah Tinsley exclaims: “No more talking. They’ve got guns, we’ve got bottles. They’ve got bricks, we’ve got rocks… in a few days you’re going to see what a Molotov cocktail can do to Macy’s.”
In the footage posted on YouTube after police evicted protesters from their encampment, Nkrumah Tinsley was recorded telling the crowd: "On the 17th, we’re going to burn New York City to the ground!"
What’s the Occupy Wall Street protesters plan for today?
7:00 a.m.: Gathering at Zuccotti Park and marching to confront Wall Street before the opening bell at 9:30 a.m.
3:00 p.m.: Meeting at 16 subway hubs across the city, including 125 St, Union Square and 23 St in Manhattan, as well as stations in the other four boroughs.
5:00 p.m.: Gathering at Foley Square to support labourers then marching to Brooklyn Bridge to mark the protest’s two-month anniversary.
A police spokesman said they were concerned enough about the threats to want Nkrumah Tinsley in custody.
However, police say it wasn’t clear if Nkrumah Tinsley had any bomb-making materials. There was no telephone number at his last known address.
Nkrumah Tinsley was also arrested on a charge of assaulting a police officer on October 26 during another protest.
With the number of Occupy Wall Street protesters left in Zuccotti Park dwindling after police cleared the camp on Tuesday, a posting on the Occupy Wall Street website attempts to hush critics questioning how much longer the movement can survive.
“We will no longer tolerate the oppression of the 1% who do not want to see a creative movement, based on inclusiveness and tolerance, triumph over a system deeply rooted in social inequality,” read the statement.
“This is why we’re fighting back tomorrow during #N17. We will shut down Wall Street and we will #occupy all of New York City with our bodies, voices and ideas.”
The passage, entitled #N17 Global Day Of Action!, calls for activists to meet this morning in Liberty Square, followed by an occupation of the New York City subway system at 3:00 p.m.
A nighttime march to Foley Square will be followed by a march to the Brooklyn Bridge to mark the two month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, reports CBS News.
Their plans were addressed during a briefing at City Hall today, where Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said preparations are being made to ensure the city is able to function in the event of a mass disruption.
“Everything that we have seen and heard suggests that we may have tens of thousands of people tomorrow protesting,” Howard Wolfson said.
“The protesters are calling for a massive event aimed at disrupting major parts of the city.”
The Occupy movement is also calling on demonstrators around the world to make their voices heard.
A planned protest in Spain coinciding with International Student Day will see a strike on the education system “as a reaction to the capitalist logic that denies free education”.
There are also planned rallies and occupations in Germany, Belguim, Italy, Egypt, Indonesia, Poland, Nigeria and Bulgaria.
Which 16 subway stations do protesters say they want to occupy?
Jessica Nicole Bradford from Whitmore, California, has been accused of deliberately starving her newborn baby to death and she was arrested after the mummified remains of her baby were found inside a school where she worked.
Jessica Nicole Bradford, 23, is alleged to have abandoned her baby in a vacant building on the campus of Julian Youth Academy, a school for troubled teens.
Her baby lived for four days before dying from lack of food and water.
According to police, Jessica Nicole Bradford kept the pregnancy secret from her family and boyfriend of the last three years.
Jessica Nicole Bradford has been accused of deliberately starving her newborn baby to death and she was arrested after the mummified remains of her baby were found inside a school where she worked
Jessica Nicole Bradford told police she did not give the baby girl a name as she did not want to feel attached to it.
The mother claimed she thought her daughter was stillborn but admitted to detectives she was alive when she left her alone in an empty room at the Julian Youth Academy.
After the baby girl died Jessica Nicole Bradford hid its corpse in a laundry basket in her room, until a co-worker discovered the body and called police.
The sheriff’s office said the baby was a fully-developed, full-term infant and in a mummified state of decomposition.
“It was shocking at least just to see the baby in the condition and given the circumstances that have been reported to us. it was a shocking case and one that we have not seen in some time,” said Shasta County Sheriff’s Department Det. Brian Jackson.
Jessica Nicole Bradford worked for a programme at the private Christian school called F.A.C.E.S.S, which stands for Fighting Against Child Exploitation and Sexual Slavery.
The mother was seen as a role model to young women in the programme and had helped many girls at the school.
Her friends said they had no idea she was pregnant and said she always wore baggy clothes.
Even her boyfriend of three years had no idea she was carrying a baby.
An arrest warrant for murder revealed that Bradford said she gave birth to the baby on September 19th under a deck near her dorm room so that no one would hear.
An autopsy was performed on the baby’s body at the Shasta County Coroner’s office, but because the case is a homicide the Coroner’s office is not releasing any information.
Jessica Nicole Bradford is being held on a charge of murder on $1 million bond.
David Laffer, the killer of four people inside a quiet New York pharmacy during a drug robbery was sentenced Thursday to a series of life terms without parole.
Melinda Brady, his wife, who drove the getaway car, received 25 years in prison.
David Laffer pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the June holdup at Haven Drugs in Medford, perhaps the most egregious case in a wave of U.S. pharmacy robberies.
David Laffer said he committed the robbery because he had lost his job, and his wife required not only painkillers but also blood pressure medicine, anti-nausea pills and muscle relaxants.
The murderer jammed a backpack full of pills after killing the four.
The victim-impact statements were so emotional that even hardened homicide officers fought back tears as they watched, but David Laffer showed no emotion.
David Laffer pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the June holdup at Haven Drugs in Medford
Mary Moran, the grandmother of victim Jamie Taccetta, said: “He is a dark, hell-bound soul. He is a coward. He has no soul.”
Later, Mary Moran looked at David Laffer and said: “Burn in hell.”
Laura Bustamonte, the daughter of victim 71-year-old victim Bryon Sheffield, looked directly at David Laffer and said: “You had a gun and you didn’t care who or how many people had to die for your mission to be accomplished.”
David Laffer, having his hands cuffed behind his back, sounded sober and straightforward as he read a statement from a paper held by his lawyer.
He said: “I know that it doesn’t begin to explain or excuse my horrific actions that day.
“However, if a discussion and recognition of prescription pill abuse and doctor-shopping will be generated among the public, then maybe something beneficial can come from this.”
The killer said of the victims’ families: “To ask for forgiveness from them would be a selfish act.”
Melinda Brady had pleaded guilty to robbery charges and was sentenced Thursday to 25 years.
Prosecutors said they could not prove that Melinda Brady was aware in advance that her husband planned the killings and, thus, could not charge her with murder.
Melinda Brady, who cried throughout the proceeding, said: “I am so sorry for the loss of your loved ones. That awful day will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
Melinda Brady had pleaded guilty to robbery charges and was sentenced Thursday to 25 years
Judge James Hudson responded: “You’re more sorry for yourself than for the victims.”
Daniel Taccetta, one of the victim’s brother, said Melinda Brady was getting away with murder. “She is just as guilty as he is,” he said.
“You are both cowards for what you did to my family,” said Tricia Taccetta, Jamie Taccetta’s mother.
Judge James Hudson later told David Laffer: “I promised you when you pled guilty that you could not hope for mercy and I will not disappoint you. You merit only the scorn of this community, your victim’s families and this court.”
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota called the killings among the most gruesome in the history of the county, which in 1974 was the scene of the “Amityville Horror” slayings in which a man killed six members of his own family.
Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney James Chalifoux said Thursday: “We as a society look at it and see that it could have been anybody. It could have been me. It could have been my children, or it could have been me or my wife.”
David Laffer, a 33-year-old Army veteran, walked into Haven Drugs shortly after 10:00 a.m. on June 19 and opened fire without announcing a robbery, killing 45-year-old pharmacist Raymond Ferguson, who was filling in for a colleague celebrating Father’s Day.
The killer then shot 17-year-old clerk Jennifer Mejia, who was due to graduate high school days later.
David Laffer then fatally shot two customers who unwittingly walked in on the carnage, authorities said.
One was Bryon Sheffield, a 71-year-old retiree picking up medication for his ailing wife; the couple was planning their 50th wedding anniversary in July.
The other, Jamie Taccetta, was a 33-year-old mother of two who was planning her wedding.
David Laffer walked into Haven Drugs shortly after 10:00 a.m. on June 19 and opened fire without announcing a robbery, killing four people
Store surveillance video showed David Laffer disguised in a scruffy beard augmented by mascara, firing at the victims.
The first shot came from a .45-caliber handgun hidden in David Laffer’s backpack. The bullet struck pharmacist Raymond Ferguson, behind the counter. He then found Jennifer Mejia, and shot her.
As he began filling a backpack with pills, Bryon Sheffield and Jamie Taccetta walked into the store and he sneaked up behind them and fired shots into their heads. He then fled with thousands of pills.
David Laffer has since said in a jailhouse interview that the first shot went off accidentally and when he realized what happened, he killed the others.
Prosecutors say David Laffer and his wife staked out several pharmacies before settling on Haven Drugs, a tiny family-owned business on an out-of-the-way suburban street.
Investigators said they found parts of the disassembled weapon used in the holdup, as well as at least 2,000 hydrocodone-type pills in the couple’s home, which is not far from the pharmacy.
Other evidence, including the backpack and empty medicine bottles, were believed tossed out in trash bins behind businesses in the area.
A shirt David Laffer was seen wearing was found buried in his yard.
David Laffer was sentenced to five consecutive life terms. The five first-degree counts reflect the deaths of the four victims in the pharmacy, plus an umbrella charge for multiple murders.
In addition, Judge James Hudson said he would push that David Laffer serve his sentence in solitary confinement, with no privileges.
David Laffer has said he expects he will be killed in prison.
“I’m not even under any illusions that I’d make it 15 years,” David Laffer told Newsday in a September interview.
Tinglan Hong, the Chinese woman who gave birth to the first child of Hugh Grant, was portrayed by her her former boyfriend Robert Hodge.
Robert Hodge said that when Tinglan Hong, 31, arrived at his home at the end of October, the first thing he noticed was that her normally petite frame appeared to have gained weight.
It had been several months since they had last met but now Tinglan Hong was visiting Robert Hodge to discuss changing her silver Mercedes CLK car – a two-door coupe – for a bigger vehicle.
Imediately, her former boyfriend understood.
“I said to her, <<You’ve done it, haven’t you? You’ve had the baby>>.”
Tinglan Hong, known to all as Ting Ting, then confirmed what Robert Hodge had suspected for several months – that she had given birth to a child fathered by actor Hugh Grant.
The news last week that famously dedicated bachelor Hugh Grant, 51, had become a father for the first time came with a backhanded dismissal when his publicists described his time with Tinglan Hong as “a fleeting affair”.
For Robert Hodge, 55, a buyer for a specialist car company who spent 18 months dating Ting Ting before she met Hugh Grant, it brought mixed emotions.
It brought to mind the day in April 2010 when Ting Ting had told him, with barely concealed excitement, that she had begun playing golf with Hugh Grant after meeting him in an upmarket wine bar in Chelsea.
Far from their contact being “fleeting”, Robert Hodge says that over the months that followed, Tinglan Hong confessed that she and Hugh Grant had regularly been spending time together.
Although Ting Ting denied they were romantically involved, Robert Hodge suspected there was far more to their relationship.
As Tinglan Hong showed him pictures of their dark-haired daughter, he could be in no doubt. Robert Hodge listened as Ting Ting proudly told him that her little girl had been nicknamed Bamboo but that her Chinese name translated as “Happy Accident”.
Although reportedly “delighted” at becoming a father, Hugh Grant is said to have been absent during the child’s birth and spent just half an hour with his daughter before heading to Scotland to play golf.
Last week, Hugh Grant was pictured with a German burlesque dancer, said to be the latest object of his affections.
Tinglan Hong, the Chinese woman who gave birth to the first child of Hugh Grant, was portrayed by her her former boyfriend Robert Hodge
Robert Hodge, a divorced father-of-four from Wandsworth, South London, claims to have no hard feelings towards Hugh Grant. But the star’s behaviour towards Tinglan Hong, for whom he still cares deeply, has clearly irked him.
Robert Hodge says: “I don’t think he has been as considerate as he could have been, no. He has brought all this attention on her but doesn’t want to take responsibility for any of it.
“He has been able to turn up at her house in his Ferrari, bringing the paparazzi straight to her door, and then leave the country again.
“Meanwhile, it’s Ting Ting who has been left to deal with all of this. Now he’s apparently with this burlesque dancer.
“It’s all very well that his publicist has described his time with Ting Ting as a fleeting romance but it wasn’t fleeting.
“At one time, he told people she was a big part of his life – it’s not very fair that he has dismissed that. Even if he isn’t with her, he has had a hand in creating this situation.“
So far, little is known about the mother of Hugh Grant’s child other than that she was brought up in the town of Lishni in Zhejiang Province, Eastern China.
But Robert Hodge, who has been divorced for 11 years, is now able to offer an intriguing insight.
Robert Hodge first met Tinglan Hong in 2006 at the Dog and Fox pub in the centre of exclusive Wimbledon village in South-West London. Attracted by her vivacious and bubbly personality, he asked her to join his group and the pair became friends.
Tinglan Hong had just graduated from a hotel management degree at the University of Surrey in Guildford after arriving in the UK several years previously. Ting Ting told Robert Hodge she was running an internet-based import and export business from her tiny flat in New Malden, Surrey.
It took two years for their friendship to deepen into a romantic relationship.
Robert Hodge recalls: “It got to the stage we both wanted to be together. She was never moody, always a really nice person to be around. She doesn’t drink alcohol, but is always the life and soul of any gathering. She has huge character and likes spontaneity, to go with the flow.
“If you met her she’d be friendly and witty and would put people at ease. She picks up on a thread of conversation and will drop in a funny one-liner.
“She’s a little bit crazy and quite often does something weird – a funny facial expression or little mannerism.
“It was her innocence that made her a bit cheeky. We laughed a lot together.”
Robert Hodge first met Tinglan Hong in 2006 at the Dog and Fox pub in the centre of exclusive Wimbledon village in South-West London
A fan of the latest fashions, Tinglan Hong dressed in designer labels, favouring Louboutin heels and Gucci handbags.
Robert Hodge says it was not clear how she could afford such luxuries, but believes her family in China sent her a monthly allowance.
Although Tinglan Hong rarely talked about her family, she appeared to have a very close relationship with them and chatted to her mother regularly on the phone. Robert Hodge’s impression was that they were moderately well-off – describing them as “not wealthy, but not rice farmers”.
Tinglan Hong and Robert Hodge spent about five nights a week together enjoying London’s nightlife, going out to restaurants and bars and to adult puppet show Avenue Q.
One night in late 2008, Tinglan Hong went out with friends to Brinkley’s, a wine bar in Chelsea popular with well-heeled local celebrities including Elizabeth Hurley, Hugh Grant, cricketer Kevin Pietersen and Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard.
“The next day she showed me this photograph on her phone with Hugh Grant.
“We laughed about it and she’d bring it out to show people but I didn’t think any more about it.
“Generally, she wasn’t really interested in celebrity, she didn’t buy those magazines.”
Quieter evenings were spent in Robert Hodge’s flat with DVDs of Bond movies or the Bourne trilogy and Ting Ting was a fabulous cook.
“She would often spend two hours cooking really good, traditional Chinese food. Things you’d dip; noodles, meat and fish. We’d eat it together with chopsticks.
“She enjoyed looking after me, playing the housewife.”
Robert Hodge introduced Tinglan Hong to his friends and family. His four children, aged between 18 and 32, took to her immediately.
One Sunday Tinglan Hong met his elderly parents for lunch at their home in Fetcham, Surrey.
“She helped Mum in the kitchen, bringing plates and food through and helping clear up. She got on with everyone. She engaged in conversation and didn’t just sit quietly in the corner. My parents thought she was great. She treated them with enormous amounts of respect and was well-mannered.
“It was important to me that they liked her, and it helped me picture a future together.”
Tinglan Hong and Robert Hodge went to the Belgian Grand Prix together in September 2008 and, after spending Christmas with Robert’s mother and eldest daughter Candice, travelled to Chamonix in the French Alps for a skiing holiday over New Year.
They stayed in a chalet with five friends and Ting Ting, who had never skied before, had three mornings of lessons before also trying out a snowboard.
He said: “She would fall over and just giggle at herself.
“One night, while we were in a bar in the resort, she realized she was the only Chinese person. So she stood up on the bar itself and started waving her arms around and shouting, in a mock Chinese accent: <<Hawo everybody! I am Ting Ting from China!>>
“Everyone loved it and started applauding and shouting back. She’s certainly not shy about coming forward.”
Tinglan Hong and Robert Hodge relationship became more serious and Robert says Ting Ting talked about wanting to settle down. But he was not keen to move too fast after his marriage breakdown and says Ting Ting accepted that.
“She wanted a stable life with someone. But we didn’t talk about moving in together. I think she respected my situation, but she wanted children. We never spoke about it seriously, but it was clear.”
Oddly, Tinglan Hong never invited Robert Hodge into her flat, a rented, ground-floor bedsit on a busy road. It did not strike Robert Hodge as suspicious and he says he never asked to go inside.
But there was undoubtedly an element of secrecy in their relationship. Robert Hodge knew little of her family, and admits he has no idea what goods she was involved in importing. There is no record of Tinglan Hong business at Companies House and he does not know what her visa status is.
After graduating in 2006, Tinglan Hong was entitled to a two-year post-study work visa, which would have expired in 2008. Robert Hodge dismisses these things and says, again, that he simply did not ask the questions.
Tinglan Hong returned to China for a family visit in late 2009 and stayed for two months. During the trip, Ting Ting emailed Robert Hodge some racy modelling photographs she had taken at a studio as part of a “vanity shoot” – popular among young Chinese women.
He said: “It didn’t really fit in with her character. Yes, she’s gregarious but these were saucy.”
Once Tinglan Hong returned, in early 2010, things had changed.
“I’d try to make arrangements and she’d say, <<I can’t make it tonight>>. That was really strange. Something was wrong.”
After several weeks Tinglan Hong broke off the relationship, claiming she needed time to herself.
“I had very strong feelings for her but I had to respect what she wanted.”
Robert Hodge had no contact with Tinglan Hong until, one day, he bumped into one of her friends, a Taiwanese girl named Amy.
Robert Hodge said: “I asked her how Ting Ting was doing. She laughed, and said she had been hanging around with Hugh Grant.
“I was surprised. But I assumed she meant Ting Ting had seen him in Brinkley’s again.”
Robert Hodge got the chance to ask her directly when she agreed to meet him in April 2010 at the Thai Square bar on the banks of the Thames at Putney.
“I asked her how things were going and she said that she had started playing golf at the Wisley Club.
“That was strange. She’d never been into golf before.“
Robert Hodge knew that the Wisley Club, a private members golf club in Surrey, was hugely exclusive, with a reputed joining fee of £40,000 ($60,000) and an annual £4,000 ($6,000) membership charge.
“I asked her who she knew who had membership. She kept saying, <<Oh, just a friend>>.
“Eventually she told me it was Hugh Grant. She had been having lessons and would walk around the course with Hugh and watch him play.
“I asked her how on earth she knew him and she said – as I had suspected – they’d met in Brinkley’s again, a few weeks earlier. She didn’t give any indication they were romantically involved.“
Robert Hodge and Tinglan Hong spoke on the phone occasionally and she told him she was spending most weekends with Hugh Grant playing golf, but always denied a relationship.
During one telephone call in July 2010, Robert Hodge asked if she wanted to meet the following day.
“She said: <<Actually, I’m going round to Hugh’s to watch the World Cup Final>>. There was no doubt who she meant. I was pretty surprised. I left it at that.”
Robert Hodge and Tinglan Hong were not in regular contact again until April 2011 when he took a call from an excited friend who told him there were photographs in the newspapers of Ting Ting with Hugh Grant, amid speculation that she was pregnant.
“I looked up the pictures online and laughed. Of course it was Ting Ting. It was obvious to me that they were in a relationship.
“I called her up and asked her if she was pregnant.
“She just laughed and said, <<No, it’s just the papers making up stories>>. Again, she didn’t admit they were a couple.
“We arranged to meet in the bar of the May Fair Hotel soon afterwards. I was curious – I wanted to find out if she really was pregnant.
“She had definitely put on some weight, but she denied it. But when I asked if she was romantically involved with Hugh, she admitted it for the first time.
“She didn’t say they were a couple, I think she said they were seeing each other.”
Robert Hodge and Tinglan Hong were not in regular contact again until April 2011 when he took a call from an excited friend who told him there were photographs in the newspapers of Ting Ting with Hugh Grant, amid speculation that she was pregnant
In the middle of May, Tinglan Hong invited Robert Hodge to dinner.
“The really strange thing was that she asked me to come to Brinkley’s. We sat down at a table; her facing the door.
“She kept saying, <<Oh, I’ve put so much weight on>>. I teased her about being pregnant but she continued to deny it.
“During our second course, Hugh walked in. She said, <<Oh. It’s Hugh>>.
“I said, <<Well, this is a bit embarrassing, isn’t it?>>
“He came straight over but they didn’t embrace or even look like close friends. She introduced us and said, <<Hugh, this is Robert>>.
“She stood up and they chatted, very briefly, although I can’t remember what they said.
“He then turned and said something extremely strange to me. He nodded at my plate and said, <<What have you got there?>>
“I said, <<Oh, Dover sole>.. He made a face. He said: <<Fish. Very strange. A bit like smoking>>.
“It was so odd I didn’t know what to say. I joked, <<It’s not as dangerous is it?>>. He shrugged and said, <<I suppose not>.. Then he walked off.
“It was the strangest thing to say. Again, I said, <<That was a bit embarrassing>>.”
In retrospect, Robert Hodge wonders if he was set up in a bid to make Hugh Grant jealous. Tinglan Hong was by now five months pregnant and judging by their odd greeting it appears things between them had cooled.
What happened next makes it clear there was a rather bizarre game in play.
Robert Hodge recalls: “Hugh went off to another table to join some friends. One was a very good-looking young woman, with long dark hair, who was probably only 22 or 23. He seemed to flirt with her, putting a hand on her arm.
“Ting Ting was not happy. She said something like, <<Look at that. That’s his latest girlfriend>>.
“It was said jokingly, but now I’m sure she was bitter.”
The next time Robert Hodge heard from Tinglan Hong was last week, on October 27. She rang him and asked if he could help sell her car, and then brought it round that after-noon. Then, she confessed she had given birth to Hugh Grant’s child.
Robert Hodge says: “She said her parents had come over from China to look after the baby. She seemed happy, quite well, not at all tired or harassed. She also showed me some photos on her phone.
“Bamboo looked sweet, with dark hair. There were none of her with Hugh.
“I was happy for her. There were some mixed feelings, obviously, as I still care about her. Then she said, <<Pity we can’t get back together>>.
“I was surprised. I said, <<What about Hugh?>>
“She said he was <<very strange>>. She didn’t expand on that.
“She went on to say he was a good father. She said: <<Whenever he’s in the country, he comes to see Bamboo>>.
“I didn’t think that sounded like a good father. She also told me he wouldn’t put his name on the birth certificate until March.
“She didn’t say why, although I assume it’s to avoid anyone knowing he’s the father.
“She hasn’t mentioned paternity tests, so I don’t know if it’s something Hugh wanted.”
Tinglan Hong also said Liz Hurley had been to see Bamboo and that she was to be the child’s godmother.
Robert Hodge says Ting Ting will cope, though she might be feeling let down.
“I think she’ll be quite sad at the moment. She was looking for stability and children and in a way she’s got it. But it doesn’t look like she has someone standing by her.
“She’ll brush it off and laugh about it. That’s what’s in her nature.
“And she’ll be a brilliant mum. She’s very caring. The pictures of her with her Louboutin shoes and Gucci bags don’t do her justice.
“Underneath it all she’s a very traditional Chinese girl. She’s homely – not a princess.”
Hugh Grant is not the first celebrity Tinglan Hong has dated. One of her first loves was a foreign football star ten years older than her, whom she met when she was still a university student in China.
Tinglan Hong had a romance with Colombian World Cup hero Adolfo Valencia when she was studying at Zhejiang University in the eastern city of Hangzhou and he was playing for the local team.
Friends say Tinglan Hong fell head over heels in love with the footballer – but the romance also appears to have been short-lived.
Adolfo Valencia, who in his glory days played in the 1994 and 1998 World Cup Finals and was once top scorer in a season with German giants Bayern Munich, had two stints with the Zhejiang Lucheng team in Hangzhou between 2002 and 2004. Then aged 34, he was one of the first big-money international players to sign for a Chinese team.
Fellow students interviewed by local newspaper journalist Chen Yuhao recalled how Tinglan Hong was seen out with Adolfo Valencia after meeting him at a nightclub.
Chen Yuhao said: “Tinglan liked to meet foreign men. She met Valencia at a nightclub and was besotted with him. They went out together for a while. She was more in love with him than he was with her and it didn’t last.”
Tinglan Hong studied in Hangzhou for four years from 1999, before moving to Britain in 2003.
Tinglan Hong’s mother, Liu Minchun, was manager of a large factory producing fountain pens and stationery and later general manager of the city’s Lishui International Hotel.
She was also a delegate to China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress.
Erica Mae Butts and Shanita Latrice Cunningham, a lesbian couple collapsed, wailed uncontrollably and hyper-ventilated in the Charleston courtroom after hearing they would serve life for killing a three-year-old girl.
Erica Mae Butts and Shanita Latrice Cunningham had to be picked off the floor by court officials and held in chairs as they were wheeled out of the room.
The two women, both 25 from Summerville, South Carolina, were told on Friday they will spend the rest of their lives in prison for beating Serenity Richardson to death in 2009 while the toddler was in their care.
Erica Mae Butts and Shanita Latrice Cunningham, a lesbian couple collapsed, wailed uncontrollably and hyper-ventilated in the Charleston courtroom after hearing they would serve life for killing a three-year-old girl
Serenity Richardson was visiting Erica Mae Butts, her godmother and her mother’s best friend, and Shanita Latrice Cunningham, who was Butts’s lover, for two weeks at their home in Summerville, South Carolina when the abuse took place.
“It is nearly impossible for words to accurately describe what these women did to that poor little girl,” said Elizabeth Gordon, assistant managing solicitor for Charleston County.
“They beat her repeatedly both with a belt and with plastic coat hangers. You can see the outlines of the strikes on this child’s body. There is not one area of this child’s body that was unharmed except for the soles of her feet.”
Erica Mae Butts
Erica Mae Butts admitted to Summerville police on Thursday that she whipped Serenity Richardson with a belt for urinating on the floor.
Serenity’s mother, Ieshia Richardson, a childhood friend of Erica Mae Butts, lives in Detroit.
“The explanation they gave (for the beatings) was that Serenity had a potty accident,” Elizabeth Gordon said.
“Their explanation is <<we didn’t know what we did would kill her>>.
“They knew what they did was wrong.”
Shanita Latrice Cunningham
At the time paramedics reached the toddler, she was already dead and had been placed on ice and exposed to bleach in desperate attempts to revive her.
Circuit Court Judge Deadra Richardson said nothing had ever affected her as strongly as the photos of the little girl’s battered body.
In August, Erica Mae Butts entered an Alford plea, meaning she maintains her innocence but acknowledges that taking her case to trial would likely result in a conviction. Shanita Latrice Cunningham pleaded guilty.
Erica Mae Butts had been in the hospital with Ieshia Richardson when she gave birth to Serenity, her only child. She had been the only person Erica Mae Butts confided in after she was raped at age 15.
“I was responsible for some things, but I would never kill her,” Erica Mae Butts said, according to the Post and Courier. Then, practically screaming through her sobs, she turned to Ieshia and said:
“I will always love you no matter what. I just want to tell you I’m so, so sorry.”
During the hearing, Shanita Latrice Cunningham’s attorney said her client was less culpable than Erica Mae Butts in little girl’s death.
Erica Mae Butts’ attorney instead portrayed Shanita Latrice Cunningham as the “controlling and aggressive” partner in an abusive relationship, while describing Butts as a “meek” woman, the Post and Courier reported.
Sentencing the killers, Judge Richardson said: “To ignore what must have been excruciating sounds that came from that child is more than disconcerting to this court.
“As such, the court finds it appropriate that each be sentenced to the state department of corrections for a period of life.”
At least 7 people were killed and 51 injured in a horrific 27 vehicles crash on the M5 motorway near Taunton, Somerset, UK.
The crash described by the emergency services as one of the worst they have ever seen.
There are fears the death toll could soar even higher as police said they believe bodies may still be trapped in vehicles which have been left “burnt and unrecognisable”.
The horrific crash on the northbound carriageway near Taunton, Somerset, involved 23 cars and vans and four lorries.
According to police, the vehicles were “immediately alight” following the crash as a huge fire engulfed the carriageway.
At least 7 people were killed and 51 injured in a horrific 27 vehicles crash on the M5 motorway near Taunton, Somerset, UK
Police confirmed that a fireworks display was going on nearby when the collision happened at 8:25 p.m. last night and said the road was wet and there was fog in the area at the time.
Television footage showed motorists trying to pry open vehicle doors in a bid to rescue those trapped. The motorway will remain closed until at least tomorrow as repairs are carried out.
The crash is the worst on British roads since 1991 when 10 people were killed and 25 injured in a huge pile-up on the M4 in Hungerford, Berkshire.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening expressed sympathy with the families of those affected by the tragedy and thanked rescue rescue workers and emergency staff who worked throughout the night to help the injured.
15 appliances raced to the scene and immediately closed off the motorway in both directions. It is expected to be shut for the next 24 hours while emergency workers recover bodies and clear the debris from the accident.
Firefighters used hydraulic equipment to pull injured from the wrecked vehicles. Some had “life changing”injuries.
According to eyewitnesses, the pile-up was triggered when an Iceland truck suddenly disappeared into a “black hole” of fog.
Andrea Day from Trafficlink said it was the worst accident she has seen in the 10 years she had been working for the traffic information provider.
“I have never come across an accident of this kind – not in terms of the volume of vehicles involved.”
Paul Slaven from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service told the BBC:
“This is the worst road traffic collision anyone can remember… so many vehicles involved.”
Asked why the vehicle fires had been so fierce he said:
“I have not had a report of any toxic or chemical material being carried by any vehicles it is just a case of the number of vehicles involved and the type of vehicle.
“At least two of the vehicles on fire were articulated lorries and there would be a lot of fuel on them.”
Paul Slaven added that it was too early to speculate what had caused the pile-up, but said there had been a number of contributing factors which made road conditions dangerous.
“The weather was not particularly good at the time and it would have been particularly busy at the time because of the Bridgwater Carnival,” Paul Slaven said.
He said the police were in the process of setting up a dedicated telephone line for worried relatives of people who may have been in the area at the time of the incident.
Today the Highways Agency urged all motorists to avoid the area, with the northbound and southbound sections between junctions 25 and 24 closed off.
Dr. Colin Close, medical director for Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital where many of the injured are being treated, said the hospital had dealt with “nothing of this magnitude ever before”.
“The injuries of those brought in ranged from simple limb fractures to more complex chest and abdominal trauma,” he said.
One surgeon was flown in by helicopter from Exeter to help treat the casualties.
“They have been treated and none are in a critical condition. Everyone is stable.”
British researchers from Durham University have found a way of slowing down ageing in individual cells, which will be reflected in a future “forever young” pill.
Durham University scientists believe their work could help the elderly stay healthy well into their twilight years, as well as help children suffering from progeria, a rare condition that causes them to grow old before their time.
Professor Chris Hutchison said: “The findings are at a very early stage but they show the potential for helping people live more comfortable and less painful lives when they reach 70 or 80 years of age and beyond.”
Prof. Chris Hutchison used N-acetyl cysteine to slow the ageing of cells taken from children with Hutchinson Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS).
Progeria is a rare genetic condition in which huge amounts of DNA damage cause cells to quickly age and die.
As a result, children rapidly grow old and frail before dying of “old age” between the age of eight and 21.
Prof. Chris Hutchison used N-acetyl cysteine to slow the ageing of cells taken from children with Hutchinson Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS)
Hayley Okines, from Bexhill, East Sussex, is known for spreading awareness of progeria.
In January 2011, Hayley Okinesmwas 13, an age she was not expected to reach.
Hayley Okines was diagnosed in 1999 and her condition causes her to age eight times faster than the average person.
Some people have speculated that the author F. Scott Fitzgerald based his story The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button on HGPS.
Treating cells with a drug normally given to people who have taken paracetamol overdoses slowed down the ageing process, allowing them to grow normally.
The reasearchers hope that the drug, N-acetyl cysteine, can one day be used to treat HGPS, improving the quality of life for children.
It is also believed that, with many of the problems of HGPS, such as hardening of the arteries, stiffness of the joints and hip dislocations, also present in normal ageing, N-acetyl cysteine might have a much more general use.
While N-acetyl cysteine may not help people live longer, it could make a person’s later years more pleasant.
Prof. Chris Hutchison said: “Our findings could be an important step to helping both children with progeria and older people to live lives that are less debilitating in terms of health problems.”
Professor James Goodwin, of charity Age UK, said the research offers valuable insights into the ageing process.
Prof James Goodwin said: “Although it’s fantastic that people are living longer than ever, we know that on average men can expect to live 7.4 years and women 9 years at the end of their lives with a disability.
“To mitigate the years we spend in ill health, it is clear that one of the most promising areas of research centres on slowing down the ageing process and tackling age-related illness.”
The approach is not the only one that holds promise.
Last year, Ronald DePinho, a Harvard University doctor, made old mice young again.
At the start of the experiments, the animals’ skin, brains, guts and other organs were at a stage equivalent to those of an 80-year-old person.
Within just two months of being given a drug that switches on a key enzyme, the mice had grown so many new cells that they had almost completely rejuvenated.
Remarkably, the male mice went from being infertile to fathering large litters.
Speaking this summer at the Cheltenham Science Festival, Professor Linda Partridge, a University College London expert in the genetics of ageing, said that science is moving so quickly that people will soon take a daily pill from middle age to prevent many of the ills of old age.
However, Prof. Linda Partridge said that any drugs would have to be shown to be extremely safe before they were given to healthy people to combat ageing.
The unseasonable snowstorm which hit the US East Coast, with some areas of Massachusetts seeing more than 27 inches (68 cm) of snow, killed at least nine people and left three million houses without power.
Tv footages show snow in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Vermont while in New York, Occupy Wall Street protesters said they were not deterred by the weather.
According to authorities, at least nine people have died in snow-related accidents and more than three million homes have lost their electricity supply from Maryland to Massachusetts with some residents left without power for several days.
The snowfall had worsened as it moved north, with states of emergency declared in New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and parts of New York.
It was reported that communities in western Massachusetts were among the hardest hit.
Nantucket in Massachusetts experienced wind speeds of 69mph (111km/h), a National Weather Service (NWS) statement said.
The unseasonable snowstorm which hit the US East Coast, with some areas of Massachusetts seeing more than 27 inches of snow, killed at least nine people and left three million houses without power
Four people were killed in two separate crashes on an icy road in Philadelphia, while falling snow killed an 84-year-old man in Temple, Pennsylvania.
Traffic accidents killed one person in Colchester, Connecticut, a 54-year-old New York woman, and a person in New Jersey.
In Springfield, Massachusetts, a man died when he touched a protective rail surrounding downed power lines.
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy said over 750,000 people were without electricity in his state and that the effects of the storm would still be felt after the snowfall stopped.
“If you are without power, you should expect to be without power for a prolonged period of time,” CBS News quoted Governor Dannel P. Malloy as saying.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s house was one of the 600,000 suffering power cuts in the state.
West Milford, New Jersey, about 45 miles (70km) north-west of New York, saw 19 inches of snowfall, and Hillsboro, New Hampshire, saw 21.5 inches.
In New York City, a new record for October snowfall was set when 1.3 inches fell in Central Park.
Most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York’s Zuccotti Park saw out the storm.
On Sunday, passengers were stranded for more than seven hours on one JetBlue flight in Hartford, Connecticut.
On Saturday, flights were delayed at Newark airport in New Jersey, which was being lashed by heavy rains and winds.
Amtrak reported massive disruption to train services, including a 13-hour delay for passengers on one train in central Massachusetts.
High pressure over south-eastern Canada had fed cold air south and into moisture from the North Carolina coast.
In New England it is usual for measurable snow to fall in early December.
National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson said temperatures could return to normal by the middle of next week.
Due to Saturday snowstorm, which dumped over a foot of snow onto parts of New Jersey and left more than 500,000 residents without power and the streets littered with trees and debris, many schools have decided to close or delay opening on Monday.
Here is the list of schools in New Jersey, by county, that are currently reporting closings or delayed openings on Halloween:
Belleville — Closed
Bloomfield — Closed
Caldwell-West Caldwell — Closed
Caldwell College — Closed
Essex Fells — Closed
Ivy Hill — Newark — Closed
Lincoln — Newark — Closed
Livingston — Closed
Millburn — Closed
North Caldwell — Closed
Nutley — Closed
Park — Newark — Closed
Ridge — Newark — Closed
Seton Hall Prep — closed
Verona — Closed
West Orange — Closed
Wilson Avenue Grades 1-3 — Newark — closed
Due to Saturday snowstorm, which dumped over a foot of snow onto parts of New Jersey and left more than 500,000 residents without power and the streets littered with trees and debris, many schools have decided to close or delay opening on Monday
Branchburg — Closed
Bridgewater-Raritan — 2-hour Delayed Opening
Berkley Heights — Closed
Clark — Closed
Cranford — Closed
Mount St. Mary — Watchung — Closed
New Providence — Closed
Scotch Plains-Fanwood — 90-Minute Delayed Opening
Summit — Closed
Morris School District — Closed
Chester School District — Closed
Denville Township Schools District — Closed
Harding Township School District — Closed
Mendham Borough Schools District — Closed
Canfield Avenue School District — Closed
Morris Hills Regional District — Closed
Morris Plains District — 90 minute delay
Mountain Lakes School District — Closed
Parsippany — Troy Hills Township School District — Closed
Pequannock Township School District — Closed
Randolph Township School District — Closed
Roxbury School District — Closed
School District of the Chathams — Closed
Washington Township Schools District — Closed
West Morris Regional High Schools District — Closed
County College of Morris — Closed
Drew University — Closed
Bethlehem Township School District — Closed
Clinton Township School District — Closed
Delaware Valley Regional High School District — Closed
Flemington-Raritan School District — Closed
High Bridge School District — Closed
Holland Township School District — Closed
Kingwood Township School District — Closed
North Hunterdon — Voorhees Regional High School District — Closed
Union Township School District — Closed
Clifton — Closed
Lakeland Regional High School — Closed
Passaic Valley High School — Delayed opening
Wayne — Closed
West Milford — Closed
Byram — Closed
Belvidere — Closed
Hope — Closed
North Warren Regional — Open, but if buses can’t access certain roads, students won’t be marked absent
Allendale — Closed
Bergenfield — Closed
Dumont — Closed
Edison and Radburn schools closed, all others delayed opening
200 passengers aboard a JetBlue flight diverted because of the unusual October snowstorm were forced to wait on the grounded plane for more than 7 hours with no food, water or working bathrooms.
At this moment, federal authorities are investigating why passengers aboard JetBlue flight 504 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Newark, New Jersey, were kept on the tarmac in “disgusting” conditions for so long after being diverted to Bradley International Airport in Connecticut.
Many passengers called 911 after receiving little explanation and the ordeal was only ended when police and firefighters came on board to help a paraplegic man who had difficulty with the circulation in his legs.
People wanting to leave were then told they could do so at their own risk, as the unseasonally early snow continued to fall. Loud cheers greeted the announcement.
200 passengers aboard a JetBlue flight diverted because of the unusual October snowstorm were forced to wait on the grounded plane for more than 7 hours with no food, water or working bathrooms
The JetBlue flight had left Florida at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, and sat motionless on the Bradley runway from 01:30 p.m. to 09:00 p.m.
Andrew Carter, a football writer for the Sun Sentinel newspaper in Florida who was intending to cover today’s Miami Dolphins game against the New York Giants at the Meadowlands, was one of those left stranded, the Hartford Courant reported.
“Still on the plane. We haven’t moved. Now EWR closed. Getting ugly in here. People yelling wanting to get off,” Andrew Carter posted on Twitter just before 06:00 p.m.
“This is awful customer service,” Andrew Carter added to his followers.
“Still on the runway. Still blizzarding outside. Aren’t there rules about how long they can make people sit here?
“To answer questions we’re on Tarmac. No water. Bathrooms don’t work. Don’t know the reason why we’re stuck. It changes.
“Lady on board just broke down. Like that guy who cried in his cell at the beginning of Shawshank. Can someone sneak me in Rita Hayworth?”
While on the plane, Andrew Carter told the Hartford Courant via cell phone: “It’s been a long day. There’s been no real explanation as to why we’ve been sitting here for seven hours.
“We ran out of water. The bathrooms are all clogged up and disgusting. The power would go off every 45 minutes for five minutes or so, and that would freak people out. I’ve heard about these kind of stories.
“We’re close to the terminal. We can look out the window and see other planes.”
Andrew Carter said that while a few arguments popped up, passengers had mostly been well behaved.
Victoria Lucia, JetBlue spokeswoman said last night: “JetBlue is doing everything possible to ensure our customers affected by today’s unusual combination of weather and infrastructure issues are being well cared for.
“We apologize for the experience.”
The JetBlue flight was one of 23 aeroplanes diverted to Bradley Airport yesterday, according to Governor Dannel Malloy.
Connecticut was trying to move 1,000 cots to the airport late last night to help make stranded passengers comfortable, Governor Dannel Malloy said.