TIME LGBT

Hillary Clinton Comments On Viral ‘Humans of New York’ Photo

The former Secretary of State tells gay child: "Your future is going to be amazing"

Street photographer Brandon Stanton — better known as the creator of Humans of New York — posted a picture Friday of a tearful boy with the caption, “I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me.”

The post garnered 498,000 ‘Likes’, about standard for a HONY post, but what Stanton may not have expected was a comment from Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Clinton wrote, “Prediction from a grown-up: Your future is going to be amazing. You will surprise yourself with what you’re capable of and the incredible things you go on to do. Find the people who love and believe in you – there will be lots of them.”

The photo initially became the subject of controversy when Stanton claimed Facebook had removed it from the site. But a Facebook spokesperson said Saturday the photo had not been intentionally deleted, but had been temporarily unavailable due to a bug. The photo is now available to be seen online, along with Clinton’s comment signed with her distinctive “-H.”

Humans of New York features photographs of ordinary people on the street along with quotes from the subjects, who typically do not identify themselves.

TIME Crime

‘Wheelchair Bandit’ Arrested After New York Heist

Wheelchair Bank Robber new york city
NYPD—AP In this June 29, 2015 photo provided by the New York Police Department, a man gets away after he robbed the Santander bank in the Queens borough of New York.

Kelvin Dennison, 23, said he was using the wheelchair after being shot

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City man in a wheelchair has been arrested two days after he pocketed $1,212 in a daytime bank robbery, authorities announced Friday.

Kelvin Dennison, 23, was picked up by officers at a hospital two days after he rolled into a Santander Bank branch in Queens Monday afternoon and claimed to be armed, police said.

“Give me all you have,” he told a teller, according to court papers. “I have a gun.”

The teller then passed him the cash before he pushed himself out of the bank and then fled down the street in his wheelchair, police said. Authorities released an image of a man in a wheelchair leaving the bank taken from a store’s surveillance camera.

When Dennison went to a Queens hospital two days later, someone recognized him and called police, prosecutors said. Authorities didn’t say why Dennison went to the hospital.

When he was questioned by investigators, Dennison told them he was in a wheelchair after being injured in a shooting, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney’s office told the New York Times (http://nyti.ms/1HD7Hok).

Dennison was charged with robbery and is being held on $15,000 bail. Attempts to reach his attorney for comment on Friday were unsuccessful.

TIME Crime

Trump Says San Francisco Shooting Proves Him Right on Immigration

Killing of Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14 "yet another example of why we must secure our border"

Donald Trump said the fatal shooting of a young woman at a popular San Francisco tourist spot was further proof the U.S. needs to crack down on border control, his latest in a string of controversial comments about immigration policy.

Kathryn Steinle, 32, was gunned down at Pier 14 in San Francisco on Wednesday. San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr told NBC Bay Area that the suspect arrested in the shooting — Francisco Sanchez — had “made an admission” with regards to the seemingly random shooting.

Trump seized on the killing on Friday to tout his immigration views after it emerged that …

Read more from our partners at NBC News

 

TIME States

California Towns Cancel Fireworks Over Drought Fears

More than 300 fires were started by fireworks last year

Drought-weary California will be extra careful in its celebrations this Fourth of July weekend, with some communities canceling their official fireworks displays and others that used to allow residents to shoot off a few of their own saying not this year.

“As we head into the fourth summer of a severe drought, it is more important than ever that everyone use an abundance of caution to avoid sparking a fire,” CalFire director Chief Ken Pimlott said in a release on June 30.

Officials statewide have warned of the danger fireworks can pose with more than 71 percent of the state in a …

Read more from our partners at NBC News

TIME Accident

Alligator Kills Texas Man Who Went for a Late-Night Swim

The 28-year-old was attacked in a private marina

A 28-year-old Texas man was fatally attacked by an alligator early Friday morning.

Tommie Woodward had gone for a late-night swim in a private marina near the Louisiana border when the alligator struck, severely injuring one of his limbs, the Associated Press reported. Officials said he had been swimming with a woman, though by one account she only entered the water after he cried for help; she is reportedly unharmed.

Police found Woodward’s body two hours after the attack.

The marina’s owners had earlier posted a warning sign about the alligator, which they had spotted in the water and estimated to be more than 11 ft. long.

[AP]

TIME national secrurity

Officials Ramp Up Security for Fourth of July After Warning of Terror Threat

People are urged to report suspicious activity

The governor of New York put his state’s emergency operations center on higher alert Friday because of warnings by the federal government about a greater threat of terrorist attacks over the July Fourth holiday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said additional staff would be in place at the center. He also ordered state authorities to enhance monitoring of holiday celebrations.

He urged people to “not only remember the freedoms that we hold dear, but also remain cautious of their surroundings and learn to recognize and report suspicious activity.”

Federal intelligence agencies issued a bulletin to local law enforcement in May reminding them…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME Crime

Prison Escapee Sent Letter to Daughter Right Before Breakout, Report Says

Convicted Murderers Escape From New York State Prison
Handout—Getty Images In this handout from New York State Police, convicted murderer Richard Matt (R) is shown.

"I always promised you I would see you on the outside"

The prison escapee who was shot and killed by police reportedly sent his daughter a letter shortly before breaking out of Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York.

The Buffalo News, citing unnamed law enforcement officials, reported that Richard Matt wrote to his daughter, “I always promised you I would see you on the outside. I’m a man of my word.” The letter was postmarked before June 6, the day Matt and fellow prisoner David Sweat were discovered missing, and the letter reached its destination on June 9.

For her protection, Matt’s daughter has not been identified. The prisoners’ alleged conspirator, prison employee Joyce Mitchell, texted the daughter several times before the breakout with updates about how Matt was doing in prison, according to reports. The daughter was unaware of the escape plans.

[Buffalo News]

TIME California

This California Town Conserved So Much Water It Had to Dump 550,000 Gallons Of It

"Hopefully, this will be a learning experience," one resident said

California is going through one of the worst droughts in its history, with residents around the state being asked to conserve as much water as possible. But the town of Poway did such a good job, officials had to dump more than half a million gallons.

According to Poway’s Mayor, Steve Vaus, the water sat in the overheated Blue Crystal Reservoir for so long, that a chemical imbalance of chloramine developed, rendering it unsafe to drink, ABC10 News reports.

“It was a perfect storm of conservation and heat,” Vaus told ABC10 News.

The amount that was dumped could have supplied four households for a year, the station says.

Vaus said that the water couldn’t be released back into the town’s lake, as it would’ve been too expensive to transport it there from the reservoir. Instead, it was released into a nearby canyon.

“Hopefully, this will be a learning experience,” Poway resident Susan Killen told ABC10 News.

The city is trying to come up with a plan to prevent this kind of situation from happening again, but is facing monetary restrictions — a standalone recycling system would cost over $1 million.

[ABC10 News]

TIME People

A Retired 9/11 First Responder Just Won $5 Million in the New York Lottery

"Everything is beautiful now," Carmelo Mercado says

A retired firefighter with a serious lung ailment has won $5 million in the New York lottery.

Carmelo Mercado, 63, won the top prize in the Cash X100 scratch-off lottery ticket, according to CNN. “Everything is beautiful now,” he said.

Mercado retired from Battalion 49 in Queens after serving at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11 attacks. A doctor advised him to give up firefighting in 2004 because of the serious damage that work had done to his lungs.

Since then, he’s dedicated his life to his four children and plays the New York lottery regularly.

Mercado wasn’t so lucky the first time he tried Cash X100. But when he noticed that the next ticket was No. 25, the inverse of his birth year, he thought he’d give the scratch-card game another shot, CNN reports.

“I went down three rows and I thought it said 5,000,” he said, describing the moment he began scratching the winning lottery card. “And then there was another comma and then I saw the other three [zeros]. I said, Holy mackerel! That looks like $5 million!”

He says he plans to purchase a vacation home at Disney, CNN says. At the same time, Mercado told reporters, “I’m just pacing myself. I’m still in shock.”

[CNN]

TIME Race

The Black-Church Fires in Southern States Are Not Connected, Authorities Say

Fire crews try to control a blaze at the Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina in this handout photo
Clarendon County Fire Department/Reuters Fire crews try to control a blaze at the Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, S.C., on the night of June 30, 2015

At least seven black churches have burned in the past two weeks

Federal law-enforcement agencies have concluded that recent fires in black churches in the southeastern U.S. are unrelated.

“To date the investigations have not revealed any potential links between the fires,” Justice Department spokeswoman Melanie Newman told Reuters.

The wave of fires began on June 21 with a fire at College Hill Seventh Day Adventist in Knoxville, Tenn., and continued across at least four states in the southeastern and central U.S. Three fires have been officially declared arson and at least two were deemed to have been the result of natural causes.

The most recent fire, at Mount Zion AME church in Greeleyville, S.C., on June 30, is among the latter. Investigators said they found no accelerants, one of the most common signs of arson, at the scene. A lightning-strike forensics report by CNN meteorologists shows four strikes close to the church, around 7 p.m.

“Investigators found no indicator of criminal intent,” State Law Enforcement Department spokesperson Kathryn Richardson said in a statement. “The investigation is complete.”

Mount Zion has burned down before, set aflame by the KKK in 1995 as part of a string of 30 suspicious fires at black churches across the south. This kind of fraught history is the foundation of continuing suspicions regarding the church fires, activist-writer David Love told CNN.

“It may not be arson now,” he said, “but people look at the cases where it actually did happen and feel, ‘It could happen again.'”

[Reuters]

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com