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Veteran severely injured in Afghanistan granted specially made smart home to help make life easier

Courtesy Jesse Cottle(BOISE, ID) -- A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was severely injured during a deployment in Afghanistan was given keys to a new life for Veterans Day.

Former Staff Sergeant Jesse Cottle, along with his wife and their two daughters, were gifted a specially adapted smart home just outside Boise, Idaho, on Monday. Newly built, the home was specifically designed with Cottle’s needs in mind.

Cottle entered the military in 2003, following in the footsteps of his father who was a Marine during the Vietnam War, according to the Gary Sinise Foundation. During his fourth deployment in 2009, Cottle was on a mission to clear improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, when he accidentally stepped on one and it detonated.

“I remember being blown into the air, but it was immediately like in the movies where everything is muted and quiet. That’s pretty accurate, at least for me,” Cottle said, adding that he entered a dream-like state. “Like...suddenly, it wasn’t really a reality.”

Cottle survived the blast. But in the aftermath, he underwent multiple surgeries and lost both legs. It was during his time in recovery that he met his now-wife Kelly Cottle. Together, they had their two daughters Grace and Isla, and began building a life together. But living in a home designed without his disabilities in mind made certain everyday tasks, like using the bathroom, difficult.

“The bathroom doorways are usually narrower than the regular doorways. So...if I’m in my wheelchair, I just kind of roll up...go down off [my wheelchair] and scoot on my butt...and get up on the toilet or get in the shower. I got so used to it,” said Jesse Cottle, who now walks with prosthetic legs.

The family’s new home was built as part of the Gary Sinise Foundation’s Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment (R.I.S.E.) program, which, along with other donors like the Home Depot Foundation, aims to make life at home easier for veterans and first responders, and their families.

“Jesse Cottle is an incredible individual whose life was forever changed by the injuries he sustained during his service,” said Shannon Gerber, executive director for the Home Depot Foundation, which has helped improve over 45,000 veterans’ homes and facilities in the last decade. “The opportunity to support this deserving family and provide Jesse with a fully accessible and tailored smart home is what makes our work so meaningful.”

The Cottles’ new home is the result of a year-long community project undertaken not only by the various organizations donating to the family but also by family members, new neighbors and other veterans. For Kelly Cottle, it’s a moment to finally settle down in a place that they can call home.

“To be able to raise our daughters in a home that’s literally built by a community that loves their dad and our family and [who] always remind us how we can all lift each other up with our different struggles, everybody needs something at some point,” Kelly Cottle said. “So to be able to...constantly be reminded of how much we have to still be grateful for, and to live in a country that makes you feel that way, it means a lot, it means more than we can say.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Snow cancels over 1,200 Chicago flights; temperatures to plunge in Midwest, South, Northeast

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Snow has cancelled nearly 1,200 flights in Chicago Monday and more than 1,500 nationwide as those from the Midwest to the South to the Northeast brace for a major temperature plunge.

A quick-moving storm has brought accumulating snow to the Midwest and the Rockies, transforming highways into sheets of ice and sending cars veering off roads.

One plane in Chicago even slid off the runway due to icy conditions while landing at O'Hare International Airport Monday morning, American Airlines said. No one was hurt, according to the airline.

BREAKING: @AmericanAir Flight AA4125 from @flyfrompti to @fly2ohare slides off runway in Chicago this morning. Passengers tell me everyone is OK, deplaned and on buses to terminal. Video: Joseph Lian from Greensboro. @ABC11_WTVD @ABC #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/rBwyqfVtiU

— Andrea Blanford (@AndreaABC11) November 11, 2019

Winter weather advisories & warnings from New Mexico & Colorado into New England.

This means snow! Some spots 2-6”, others (in pink) will get lake enhanced 6-12”!!!

Raise your hand if you are excited for this hit of snow 😉 pic.twitter.com/mom5ITnQWV

— Ginger Zee (@Ginger_Zee) November 11, 2019

This is the snowiest start to winter in Milwaukee and Madison by "virtue of number of days with measurable snowfall," according to the National Weather Service.

As this arctic cold takes aim, 16 states from Oklahoma to Maine are under winter storm warnings or winter weather advisories.

On Monday night, the snow will stretch from Arkansas through Indianapolis to Detroit, Buffalo and even northern New England, bringing a dangerous evening commute.

The heaviest snow will hit the Great Lakes region and interior Northeast, where up to 1 foot of snow is expected. But in areas with the most persistent lake effect snow bands, 14 to 20 inches of snow is not out of the question.

By Tuesday morning, the storm will reach the Northeast and the East Coast -- and New Yorkers may get their first glimpse of snow this season.

Heavy rain will move from Atlanta through Raleigh, and that rain is forecast to change to a snowy mix in Washington, D.C., New York and Boston. However, the storm is fast-moving, so no snow accumulation is expected in those cities, but a brief blast of snow is possible.

Behind the storm system is an arctic front that is set to bring a major cold blast.

The coldest morning for the Midwest will be Tuesday. The wind chill, or what it feels like, is forecast to reach -5 degrees in Chicago, -2 degrees in Indianapolis, 7 degrees in Nashville and even 13 degrees in Dallas.

The coldest morning for the East Coast will be Wednesday. The wind chill is expected to reach 8 degrees in Boston, 15 degrees in Pittsburgh, 19 degrees in Atlanta and 23 degrees in Birmingham.

Click here for tips on how to stay safe in the cold.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Woman selling churros at NYC subway station handcuffed by officers, video shows

Sofia B. Newman(NEW YORK) -- A video of NYPD transit officers handcuffing a woman selling churros at a Brooklyn subway station is causing outrage on Twitter as people criticize the police department.

In the video, a woman is seen crying as the officers confiscate her cart and lead her away in handcuffs at the Broad Junction subway station on Friday night.

The woman who took the video, Sofia Newman, can be heard repeatedly asking the officers, "Why are you taking her s--- away?"

When Newman asks if the officers can "just let her keep her stuff," one officer tells her, "no," and says, "Can you just back up for right now?" The officer then tells her it's illegal to sell food inside subway stations.

In a subsequent tweet, Newman wrote, "She kept trying to speak to one of the cops in Spanish, but the plainclothes cop kept rolling his eyes and saying things like, 'Are you done?' and 'I know you can speak English.'" Newman's post was viewed more than 2.7 million times as of Monday afternoon.

NYPD Chief of Transit Edward Delatorre responded to the video on Sunday, stating that the woman was not arrested and was handcuffed because she "refused to comply."

The woman received a summons and has received 10 summonses in the past six months, Delatorre said, adding that the officers have been responding to a "number of recent complaints of violations" at the station, "including the unlawful and unlicensed sale of food and other products."

During the city's Veterans Day parade on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed the video, saying that while he believes the officers acted appropriately, he wants to "get to a day where that kind of action is not necessary," but ultimately placed the blame on the vendor.

"I understand the facts," De Blasio said. "The facts are, she was there multiple times and was told multiple times that's not a place you can be and it's against the law and it's creating congestion, and she shouldn't have been there. But, what we've got to work for is the day where we really engage the community in general, to also be clear to members of the community, that that's not an acceptable behavior.

The woman, identified only by a first name -- Elsa -- told reporters during a rally protesting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan that added 500 officers to monitor the subways that she believes the incident "is an attack against the Spanish community," the New York Post reported.

"I felt horrible, nervous and stressed," she said through a Spanish translator. "They took everything away from me."

Newman told ABC's New York station WABC-TV, that she's heard from "many people" that they've been buying churros from the woman for the past decade.

"She's very loved in the community, and people really care about her," Newman told the station.



Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


BART riders hold lunchtime 'eat-in' protest after man detained for eating sandwich on train platform

YIMBY Mobility Member(SAN FRANCISCO) --  After a viral video that showed a man being handcuffed and detained last week by transit police for eating a sandwich on a train platform in Northern California, the public hosted a lunchtime "eat-in" protest.

Foster shared his experience with ABC News San Francisco affiliate KGO.

“I was just up there eating a sandwich waiting for my train to come,” said Foster. He shared that the officer passed other people who were also eating and drinking in the area and singled him out.

He was then handcuffed and detained.

“He was handcuffed once he refused to provide identification. He was cited and released once he provided identification,” said a BART representative in a statement.

“I’m definitely upset, mad a little frustrated. Still kind of angry about it,” said Foster.

In response to this incident, members of the public shared their frustration by engaging in an “eat-in” protest at BART’s Embarcadero station platform. Kelly Groth organized the Brunch on BART event.

Groth handed out breakfast sandwiches and the group ate together on the platform.

“Over the years we’ve seen a surge of people videotaping police abusing power and targeting black and brown folks. People are holding them accountable for their actions since the murder of Oscar Grant in 2009,” said Groth.

Oscar Grant, 22, was an unarmed black man shot and killed by a BART police officer in Oakland on New Year’s Day in 2009.

Janice Li, a member of the BART Board of Directors also attended this event to speak to the public. She brought food to share - Chinese egg clusters and barbecued pork buns.

“I attended because I was disturbed when I saw that video,” Li said. She is also friends with Foster.

She shared that she wants to use her position to build a better system by listening to their riders, and acting as a resource.

“In my past, I’ve had issues with police departments and law enforcement, so to see incidents like this is really disturbing to me. I want to be a resource and tell people what’s happening,” Li said.

Li shared she is looking into what happened. The Office of Independent Police is investigating the incident and reviewing police body camera footage.

According to a BART representative, no one was detained or cited at the eat-in.

BART General Manager, Bob Powers, issued a statement Monday afternoon addressing the citation and apologizing for how the situation unfolded. He mentioned the police auditor would report his findings to BART’s Citizen Board.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Oklahoma police chief killed in Florida, one of his officers charged with murder

Google Street View(PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla.) -- An Oklahoma police chief was found dead in a Florida hotel late Sunday night and local authorities have arrested one of his officers in connection with his death.

Mannford's police chief, 44-year-old Lucky Miller, was pronounced dead at a Hilton hotel in Pensacola Beach, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

One of Miller’s Oklahoma officers, Michael Nealey, was booked into the Escambia County Jail Monday and charged with homicide. His next scheduled court date is Dec. 5, according to jail records. No bond was set.

Authorities have not released more details about how the incident started nor Miller's cause of death. The city of Mannford, Oklahoma, confirmed Miller's death on Monday afternoon.

Miller had been police chief since 2007 and is survived by his wife, Amber, and three children, the city said.

“We are heartbroken by the news,” Mannford Mayor Tyler Buttram said in a statement Monday. “Please keep both families in your prayers as we work to move forward.”

Escambia County spokeswoman Sgt. Melony Peterson told the Pensacola News Journal that the two officers were in town for a conference.

Mannford town administrator Gerald Haury named Officer Jerry Ridley as interim police chief.

Escambia County was also in the news last week when Ibraheem Yazeed was arrested and charged in the disappearance of Alabama teen Aniah Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Popular Georgia mountain overlook closed over vandalism

sshepard/iStock(ATLANTA) -- Johns Mountain Overlook Road in Walker County, Georgia, is closed indefinitely because of vandalism.

A popular spot for viewing autumn leaves, the site was vandalized throughout several locations at the overlook last week.

"We are sad to announce that vandalism means that Johns Mountain Overlook Road will be closed indefinitely," Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests officials posted on Facebook. They shared images of some of the vandalism -- one photo appears to show a pentagram spray-painted onto a wooden deck.

"The extent of this vandalism damage is much greater than pictured here, but is too graphic to share," the park's officials also noted in the Facebook post.

They also advised those looking to enjoy a view of fall leaves to "find alternative destinations" until "repairs can be made."

Rangers and volunteers recently cleaned up three areas of the national forest. Almost 50 bags of trash and over 125 tires were collected, reported ABC News Atlanta affiliate, WSBTV.

"When senseless damage like this vandalism and destruction of public facilities occurs, it takes away from our capacity to make progress addressing other critical maintenance needs," the post continued.

"Please help keep your public lands clean and healthy," officials urged in the Facebook post.

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests' office was not available for immediate comment.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mom named person of interest in disappearance of 5-year-old Jacksonville girl: Sheriff

Jacksonville Sheriffs Office(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) -- The mother of missing 5-year-old Jacksonville girl Taylor Williams is now a person of interest in the little girl's disappearance, authorities said Monday.

Taylor's mother, Brianna Williams, is not cooperating with investigators and has not spoken to authorities since Wednesday, the day Taylor was reported missing, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said at a news conference on Monday.

Brianna Williams was the last person to see the little girl, he said.

"We still need her cooperation," Sheriff Williams said Monday.

Taylor Williams was reported missing Wednesday morning.

She was allegedly last seen in her home in Jacksonville around midnight on Wednesday when her mother put her to bed. Brianna Williams said when she woke up around 7 a.m., she said she noticed the back door to the home was unlocked and Taylor wasn't in her room, authorities said.

The search has now expanded to Alabama and the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department has deployed 38 people to the neighboring state. Williams said his office's homicide unit and missing person unit have also sent teams to Alabama.

Anyone who has seen Brianna and Taylor Williams in the last two weeks between Jacksonville and Alabama is asked to contact authorities, Sheriff Williams said. Investigators believe Brianna Williams was driving a black 2017 Honda Accord.

Federal authorities are also helping.

"We will do anything we can to bring her home," said Rachel Rojas of the FBI's Jacksonville office.

"We absolutely hope to find her alive," Williams added.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Girls sweep all 5 top awards at national STEM contest for middle schoolers

Society for Science & the Public/YouTube(WASHINGTON) --  At a national science and engineering competition for middle school students, girls took home all five top awards for the first time this year.

The Broadcom MASTERS, or Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars, is an annual competition run by the Society for Science & the Public in partnership with the nonprofit Broadcom Foundation.

The top winners were announced in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 29. Thirty finalists were chosen to come to the nation's capital for a week from a pool of 2,348 applicants in 47 states after having participated in local, regional and state science fairs.

Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public, told ABC News she is excited about the future of women in STEM. This year, there were 18 girls and 12 boys who made it to Washington for the competition.

"We are just so thrilled that the top five winners were girls this year," Ajmera said. "This is the first time in our history that it was a sweep for girls. It’s also the first time in our history that we had more girl finalists than boy finalists."

The science project that brought the finalists to the national competition only counted for 20% of their scoring -- during their week in D.C., they were also placed in teams and given STEM challenges to work on. They were then judged on a variety of skills like leadership, teamwork, problem solving and communication, and winners were selected by a panel of educators, scientists and engineers.

"We transform them from seeing themselves as a student who is interested in science and engineering to someone who sees themselves as a scientist and engineer," Paula Golden, president of the Broadcom Foundation, told ABC News.

Golden added that ensuring gender equity in the final pool of applicants for the competition has been a priority.

Alaina Gassler, 14, of West Grove, Pennsylvania, won the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize for her project on reducing blind spots in cars.

Gassler got the idea after seeing her mother's frustration with blind spots and looking up statistics on how many blind-spot accidents took place each year, she told ABC. She designed a system that included a webcam to show anything covered by a blind spot.

She said the competition made her consider a future career in engineering after realizing how much fun it is to help people.

"I always thought that I wasn't able to help many people just because of my age, but I don’t want people to have their age hold them back," she said. "We're going to be the next generation of scientists and engineers, and I feel like it's good to get started at a young age."

Other top winners included Rachel Bergey of Harleysville, Pennsylvania; Sidor Clare of Sandy, Utah; Alexis MacAvoy of Hillsborough, California; and Lauren Ejiaga of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Ejiaga, 14, won the $10,000 STEM Talent Award sponsored by the Department of Defense for her research on how current levels of ultraviolet light from the sun because of ozone depletion impact plant growth.

Ejiaga told ABC she is interested in expanding her research and studying the impact of ultraviolet radiation on marine ecosystems. Her mother, Mayrie Ejiaga, said she cried tears of joy when her daughter won the award.

"It was a really beautiful and emotional moment," she told ABC News. "If she continues, she can help herself, help her family, help her community and help the world."

As the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Ejiaga is the first woman of color to win a top award at the competition.

"The fact that I'm not only a person of color who won the award but the first woman of color is a big honor," Ejiaga said. "I hope it is inspiring to others -- not just women in STEM, but people of color who are women in STEM. There will be challenges, but you can still overcome them."

Ejiaga said the competition reaffirmed that she wants to continue her focus on science and eventually study medicine and work in anesthesiology.

"If you think there is an important problem you want to solve or there is something fun you want to do, you can still do it," she said. "There’s no need to feel intimidated by your peers from the past or the present — just think about the future and innovate from there."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


11-year-old boy dies after being shot in chest in Philadelphia: Police

aijohn784/iStock(PHILADELPHIA) -- An 11-year-old boy was shot dead in Philadelphia on Monday, becoming the latest in a string of children to be shot in the city.

The 11-year-old, whose name was not released, was shot once in the chest at about 11:58 a.m., according to Philadelphia police.

He was taken to a hospital in critical condition and was pronounced dead at 12:25 p.m., police said.

 

Police are consoling a distraught woman who arrived on scene. 11 yr old was pronounced dead. Shot one time to the chest. Reports indicate he was home with his brother who is talking to police. They are not sure of circumstances around the shooting @6abc pic.twitter.com/1fg5KPNiKA

— Annie McCormick (@6abcAnnie) November 11, 2019

 

"The person of interest right now is the 19-year-old brother," Interim Philadelphia Police Chief Christine Coulter told reporters.

The 11-year-old and 19-year-old appeared to be the only people home at the time of the "tragic incident," Coulter said.

A weapon has been recovered, police said. Additional information has not been released.

The 11-year-old's death comes days after a 10-year-old boy was shot in the back of the head while walking home from school in Philadelphia's Frankford section.

Weeks earlier a 2-year-old girl was in the shot dead in her North Philadelphia home. The day before an 11-month-old boy was shot and critically injured while in the back of a car in Philadelphia's Hunting Park neighborhood.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Mourning classmates hold candlelight vigil for slain Atlanta college student

Atlanta Police Department(ATLANTA) -- Music and prayer filled Georgia's Clark Atlanta University campus Sunday night as grieving students came together to remember slain classmate Alexis Crawford, allegedly killed by her roommate and the roommate's boyfriend.

Crawford's mother "physically was unable to speak" when police told her the 21-year-old's remains were found, family spokesman Rev. Markel Hutchins said. "All she could do was listen. And she said simply, 'thank you.'"

Meanwhile, Crawford's father, "crying uncontrollably," said, "they didn't have to kill my baby," Hutchins told the crowd at Sunday's candlelight vigil.

Crawford's roommate, Jordyn Jones, 21, and Jones' boyfriend, Barron Brantley, 21, have been charged with malice murder in connection with the Oct. 31 death of Crawford, Atlanta police said on Saturday.

Crawford, also 21, died by asphyxiation, the medical examiner determined, according to police.

In honor of Crawford, Hutchins asked those at Sunday's vigil to hug someone next to them and tell them "you love them" "whether you know them or not."

"Love conquers hate," Hutchins said. "The love that you have for one another conquers hate."

Crawford has nine siblings, including a brother who attends Clark Atlanta University, University President George French said at the vigil.

"They need us now more than ever," French said.

Crawford had been reported missing on Nov. 1, launching a search by Atlanta police. Her body was found in a park in DeKalb County on Friday after one of the suspects led police to her body, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields said.

While a specific motive was not clear, four days before Crawford died, she had reported to police that she was the victim of "unwanted kissing and touching" from Brantley, Shields said Friday.

"The case has come to one of the saddest conclusions possible and has been absolutely heartbreaking," Shields said. "To Alexis' family, our hearts go out to you. I am so truly sorry that we could not provide you with a better ending."

To the university community, Student Government Association President Frank Ortega said at the vigil, "The pain will still be there."

"Take care of yourselves," he said. "Allow yourself to grieve."

Crawford's funeral will be on Saturday, French said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Rare transit of Mercury: How to watch safely as the planet passes in front of the Sun

NASA(NEW YORK) -- Mercury will pass in front of the sun on Monday, appearing as a dark spot moving across the star’s bright surface.

The cosmic event, which is called a transit, will last for roughly 5.5 hours and started at 7:35 a.m. ET.

Unlike a solar eclipse, you can’t see Mercury’s transit with the naked eye. But stargazers have to take precautions.

NASA recommends heading to a local astronomy club to use a “specialized, properly-filtered solar telescope.”

"You cannot use a regular telescope or binoculars in conjunction with solar viewing glasses,” according to NASA.

Good morning, Sunshine! ☀️

Today, Mercury will pass between the Earth & the Sun, silhouetting it against our home star. This passage will begin at approximately 7:35am ET and last for more than five hours. Here's how you can watch the #MercuryTransit: https://t.co/ZPf6Kf98Pa pic.twitter.com/xnE9QdNuMu

— NASA (@NASA) November 11, 2019

Mercury in transit is a major event, and a rare one. We won’t be able to see the transit again until 2032.

If you can’t make it to your local astronomy club, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory will be posting close-up images of the transit, and Slooh is livestreaming the event.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Marine wanted in fatal shooting of Virginia man

MicroStockHub/iStock(HARDY, Va.) -- A Marine is wanted in the murder of his mother's boyfriend.

Rodney Brown, 54, was shot and killed on Saturday just before noon at his home in Hardy, Va., about 9 miles southeast of Roanoke. The following day, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office named Michael Alexander Brown, the son of Rodney Brown's live-in girlfriend, the suspect in his killing.

Michael Alexander Brown, 22, was serving as a combat engineer for the United States Marine Corps until around Oct. 18, when he deserted his post at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He has been seen in and around Virginia's Franklin County in the past two weeks, according to the sheriff's office.

Authorities have obtained an arrest warrant for Brown for second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

It's unknown where the suspect may be headed or where he has been staying since leaving his post. But he has been known to live in the woods and visit national parks, according to the sheriff's office.

Michael Alexander Brown "is believed to be armed with a high-powered rifle and may have access to other weapons." Those who come in contact with him "should use extreme caution and contact law enforcement immediately," the sheriff's office said.

The suspect has recently been driving a 2008 black Lincoln Town Car, possibly with North Carolina tags, although there are no license plates registered in his name.

Anyone with information on the case or the suspect's whereabouts is urged to contact J.P. Nolen with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office at 540-483-6662.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Supreme Court weighs fate of DACA, 700,000 young immigrants

YinYang/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- More than 700,000 young immigrants, who came of age in America but have lacked permanent legal status, look to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to uphold a program protecting them from deportation to countries they've never truly known.

The justices will hear oral arguments in a case challenging President Donald Trump's controversial 2017 decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which grants qualified immigrants temporary residency and work privileges.

The outcome could determine whether those young people, many of whom have registered with the government since 2012, may continue living and working legally in the U.S. or could be subject to removal.

"I grew up here. This is the only place I know. I have done nothing wrong. I just want a normal life like everyone else," said Carolina Fung Feng, 30, a Costa Rican immigrant and DACA recipient, who came to New York when she was 12 years old.

Feng is among hundreds of DACA recipients and advocates expected to demonstrate outside the court to draw attention to their case, which has won bipartisan support from hundreds of U.S. business groups, churches, law enforcement organizations and educational institutions.

"I feel like it's a 50-50 chance. The court could go either way," Feng said. "But even if the decision is not favorable, we will continue to fight."

DACA -- which was created by President Barack Obama after Congress failed to enact legislation -- allows immigrants who came to the U.S. under the age of 16, without a criminal record and who have completed or are attending school, to pay a fee, register with the government and receive a temporary waiver from deportation and ability to work.

Beginning last month, dozens of DACA recipients began marching on foot from New York City to Washington to attend oral arguments -- a 230-mile trip which took two weeks to complete.

"Our members are looking to the justices to do the right thing, to uphold the three separate lower court decisions and to refuse to submit to the lawlessness of a president who wants them to do his dirty work," said Greisa Martinez, a DACA recipient and deputy executive director of United We Dream, a grassroots advocacy group.

Trump moved to end the initiative in 2017, accusing his predecessor of abusing executive power to shield undocumented immigrants when Congress had failed to act legislatively.

Following several legal challenges, federal courts put Trump's phase-out of the program on hold, pending appeals. No new applications are being accepted, but the Department of Homeland Security is processing renewals for immigrants already in the program.

The Trump Administration has approved more than 373,000 renewal requests since 2017.

"We don't know how the court's going to rule. The court could ask DHS to put pens down and stop reviewing applications," said Leezia Dhalla, a Canadian-born DACA recipient who immigrated to Texas in 1996 and graduated from Northwestern University. "There's also a chance the justices could reopen DACA in its original form. For now, we're telling people to get their renewals in."

Antonio Alarcon, whose parents brought him to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 10, is one of the DACA recipient plaintiffs in the case before the Supreme Court this week.

"Every day we contribute to the country, and I hope the court will see the human aspect of DACA," Alarcon said of his message to the justices.

Seven years after the program was created, many of the DACA recipients have become deeply intertwined in American society and advocates say their families include 256,000 U.S. citizen children.

"This is an enormously important, stupid case," said Tom Goldstein, a constitutional lawyer and founder of SCOTUSblog. "Enormously important for the individuals involved and immigration policy, but stupid because if Obama can create the program then Trump can withdraw it. But the issue is accountability."

The case centers on the rationale the Trump administration gave for ending the program and whether that decision was unlawfully arbitrary.

In September 2017, then-acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke issued the order rescinding DACA because she said that the administration had deemed it "unconstitutional" and "effectuated … without proper statutory authority."

Several federal courts found that reasoning "arbitrary and capricious" in violation of the federal Administrative Procedures Act. In one case challenging DACA, however, a federal judge has said the same of Obama's decision in creating the program in the first place.

"All they have said is that they did it because they had to, because the DACA program was unlawful, despite the fact that no court anywhere had found it unlawful," said Karen Tumlin, director of the Justice Action Center and an attorney involved with one of the cases before the court.

The Trump administration argues that the program was created by executive authority and can reasonably be discontinued at the president's discretion. They say the courts can't even review the decision.

"There's no question the initial justification they gave was an attempt not to give a justification," said Omar Jadwat, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. "None of the things they're now saying did they say when they terminated the program."

Some legal experts think that in taking the case -- without a notable split among lower courts -- suggests that the Supreme Court is poised to reverse those lower court decisions.

"There's a pretty good chance President Trump will prevail and the rationale will be significant," said John Blackman, an associate law professor at South Texas College of Law.

"Even if the court upholds recision, however, that doesn't mean people are getting removed right away. The initial policy called for a six-month phase-out," he said. "If we count six months from the beginning of July, (when a court opinion is expected), that puts us basically into January 2021 which is after the election."

"So the outcome of the 2020 election will largely dictate the fate of the 'Dreamers,'" Blackman surmised.

Trump has called the DACA recipients, also known as "Dreamers," based on never-passed proposals in Congress called the DREAM Act, "absolutely incredible kids" and promised that "we'll take care of everybody," but the administration has not proposed a solution.

Earlier this year, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure that would establish a pathway to citizenship for 2.5 million DACA recipients, including those affected by Trump's cancellation of the program. The White House said Trump would veto it.

For DACA recipients, the uncertainty of the outcome of the Supreme Court case means renewed anxiety about their futures in the only country they've known.

"I carry a poem that my grandmother wrote: 'Speak because it's your life, speak because you can,'" said Sana A., a Pakistani immigrant and DACA recipient who did not want to give her last name in order to protect her identity.

"DACA has enabled me to speak in so many more ways," she said.

The Supreme Court is expected to deliver it's decision in the case by the end of June 2020.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Fast food cashier and manager fired for refusing to serve police officer

amphotora/iStock(ROXBORO, N.C.) -- Two fast food employees have been fired after one of them refused to serve a police officer who wanted to order food from the establishment.

The incident occurred last week at the Cook Out restaurant in Roxboro, North Carolina when Kenneth Horton, an army vet and veteran police officer, visited the chain restaurant and was denied service by the cashier.

"We're saddened that an employee denied service to a police officer. We promote unity. The public here knows that. And, unfortunately, this incident has created a divide but it is only because of a small action that could have been avoided," said Roxboro Police Chief David Hess when he sat down in an interview with ABC’s Raleigh-Durham station WTVD-TV.

Word of Horton’s encounter at the Cook Out allegedly spread through Roxboro and on social media before it got back to senior level Cook Out employees who then took the unilateral decision to terminate the employment of both the cashier and the restaurant manager.

"We did not contact corporate directly asking them to fire this employee. Cook Out took it upon themselves to take action," said Chief Hess.

The manager, a mother of four who had worked at Cook Out for 10 years but wished to not be identified, said that she wishes the employee would have asked her to come to the front to take the officer’s order instead of asking another cashier to do it.

"If a cashier doesn't feel comfortable taking somebody elses order, it's not wrong for them to ask somebody else do it or contact the manager," the former manager told WTVD.

It is still unclear as to why the cashier did not want to serve Horton in the first place. But, the day after the incident occurred, she was fired by the district manager along with the cashier.

“[The district manager] told me that I should have went outside and got the officer’s attention and, I guess, offered to take his order,” she told WTVD.

The former manager explained that she would not have felt safe going outside to take the officer’s order having not been directly involved in the incident herself and not knowing the circumstances.

"I'm mad. I'm pissed. I was hurt,” said the former manager. “I just got to find something else. I got bills, kids and Christmas is coming up."

Neither Horton nor anybody from Cook Out have yet to issue a statement regarding the incident.

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Bernard Tyson, trailblazing Kaiser Permanente CEO, dies at 60

rvolkan/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, died in his sleep on Sunday, the company confirmed to ABC News in a statement. He was 60.

"An outstanding leader, visionary and champion for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans, Bernard was a tireless advocate for Kaiser Permanente, our members and the communities we serve. Most importantly, Bernard was a devoted husband, father and friend. We all will miss his tremendous presence in our lives," the company said in a statement.

Gregory A. Adams, executive vice president and group president, was named interim chairman and CEO, effective immediately, the company said.

Tyson was regarded as a trailblazer by many as one of the few African American CEOs of a massive U.S. company.

Although not a Fortune 500 company because Kaiser Permanente is a not-for-profit organization, the company's operating revenue would place it at No. 42 on the Fortune 500, Fortune magazine reported in 2017.

There are currently only four black CEOs at Fortune 500 companies, Black Enterprise reported.

Tyson appeared on Time's list of the world's most influential people and other lists including Modern Healthcare's list of influential people in the industry.

In addition to his role at Kaiser Permanente, Tyson served on several corporate boards, including those for the American Heart Association and the tech firm Salesforce.

According to a biography provided by Kaiser, Tyson was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, served as deputy chairman of the Americas of the International Federation of Health Plans and was the former chair of American Health Insurance Plans.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Tyson earned a Master of Business Administration in health service administration and a bachelor's degree in health service management.

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