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Multiple injuries after school bus runs over embankment near Pittsburgh

A school bus carrying children ran over an embankment in a construction zone in Mars, Pennsylvania, Monday afternoon and landed on its side.

>> Read more trending news 

Update 5:45 p.m. EDT Sept. 24: The exact number of students who received medical care is not known, but Mars district officials said six children were hospitalized immediately for treatment of minor bumps and bruises. Other students were taken to area hospitals for a check-up as a precaution.

(Original story)

Police and emergency responders are on the scene, according to WPXI-TV, and multiple injuries have been reported.

At least four people were receiving treatment at the scene for minor injuries, according to officials with the Mars Area School District, who also confirmed 41 students were on the bus at time of the accident. 

Here’s the statement the district issued after the accident.

“Mars Area School District School Bus #4 was involved in a single vehicle accident on Route 228 at approximately 3 p.m. today (Monday, Sept. 24).

As per District procedure, 911 was immediately called and emergency responders were dispatched to the scene. All students are being examined by emergency medical personnel. Some minor injuries were reported.

The District is contacting the parents of all students who were on the bus at the time of the accident directly. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.”

>> Related: Parents feel pressured when making child safety choices, study says 

Mars is located between Pittsburgh and Butler in southern Butler County.

Jacksonville shooting: Gamers targeted in deadly attack at Madden tournament, sheriff says

A shooter killed two people before taking his own life Sunday during a video game tournament at a popular riverfront destination in in Jacksonville, according to investigators.

>> Read more trending news 

>> Read “Madden video game tournament was underway when Jacksonville mass shooting happened”

Update 5:07 a.m. EDT Aug. 28: The chief executive officer for Electronic Arts, known as EA, announced Monday night that the remaining Madden events have been canceled in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Jacksonville, Florida, on Sunday.

"The event was a qualifying tournament for the Madden Classic, our first Madden EA Major competition of this season. While these qualifying events are operated independently by partners, we work with them to ensure competitive integrity and to gather feedback from players. We have made a decision to cancel our three remaining Madden Classic qualifier events while we run a comprehensive review of safety protocols for competitors and spectators," Andrew Wilson, CEO of EA, announced Monday. "We will work with our partners and our internal teams to establish a consistent level of security at all of our competitive gaming events."

The statement continued: "Their love of competition was evident through their participation in our events over the past few years. We are committed to supporting Taylor and Elijah’s families through this difficult time, and we send our deepest sympathies to their loved ones, to those injured yesterday, and everyone affected.”

Read more here.

Update 4:05 p.m. EDT Aug. 27: The family of Eli Clayton, one of the two competitors killed Sunday in a shooting during the “Madden 19 NFL Classic,” in Jacksonville, thanked supporters and asked for privacy as they mourn the 22-year-old.

 “We are devastated by yet another senseless act of gun violence,” Clayton’s cousin, Brandi Pettijohn, said in a family statement read Monday for reporters. “Every person who has stood in this position has said that they never thought that this would happen to their family and we are no different.” 

Clayton is survived by a large family, including six brothers, three sisters, his parents and his stepparents.

“Elijah’s family wants you to know that he was a good man,” Pettijohn said. “He did not believe in violence -- he never even had a fist fight. He loved football, and out of all the video games he could play, he settled (on) and mastered Madden.”

Pettijohn said Clayton participated in video game competitions to save money for college.

“My cousin has to bury her firstborn and it is just as terrible as that sounds,” she said.

Two people, including Clayton, were killed in Sunday’s shooting and  10 others were wounded in the gunfire. A 13th victim sustained injuries not related to the gunfire, investigators said. Family members told WJAX that Taylor Robertson, 27, was also killed in the attack.

Update 3:45 p.m. EDT Aug. 27: At a news conference Monday, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said authorities continue to search for a motive in Sunday’s deadly shooting.

Williams said authorities are investigating reports that David Katz, 24, was upset after losing in the “Madden 19 NFL Classic” competition.

“(There’s) lots of conversation about that,” Williams said. “We have yet to have a concrete motive.”

Officials said 13 people were injured in Sunday’s attack, including two gamers who were killed in the shooting. Family members identified the slain competitors to WJAX as Eli Clayton, 22, and Taylor Robertson, 27.

Authorities said surveillance footage taken from the scene showed only one shooter carried out Sunday’s attack. Officials said Katz shot and killed himself during Sunday’s incident.

“All of the other shooting victims are expected to recover from their injuries,” Williams said. “As bad as this is, it could have been much worse.”

Katz had two handguns and extra ammunition on him during Sunday’s shooting, but Williams said surveillance footage indicated that he only fired one of the guns. Investigators believe he bought the guns legally from a dealer in his hometown of Baltimore.

He specifically targeted gamers who were part of the Madden 19 competition, walking past other patrons at Chicago Pizza before shooting, Williams said. The chief estimated that between 130 and 150 people were in the restaurant when the shooting started.

Charles Spencer, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Jacksonville Division, said authorities have been in contact with Katz’s parents in Baltimore, who have been cooperative in the ongoing investigation. Officials have seized items from Katz’s hotel room and vehicle, Williams said.

Authorities continue to investigate.

Update 2:55 p.m. EDT Aug. 27: The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is expected to provide updates on the investigation into Sunday’s shooting at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Update 2:50 p.m. EDT Aug. 27: Doctors at UF Health Jacksonville told WJAX that four of the six people taken to the hospital as a result of Sunday’s shooting have been released.

One of the patients suffered a severe hand injury, according to WJAX. He was undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound to repair the damage, the news station reported Monday.

Another patient had a bruised heart. That person was released Monday, WJAX reported.

Update 1:50 p.m. EDT Aug. 27: The shooting has led gamers to speak out about the need for more security at esports events.

“It’s very clear we need to be more proactive for 2019 and beyond,” Joy Cuellar, tournament director for the esports Evolution Championship Series, wrote in a tweet Sunday.

Organizers with the competition, which draws thousands of spectators, in March called the FBI after someone wrote online that there would be a mass shooting at the event. The tournament was held Aug. 3 to Aug. 5 in Las Vegas without any issue, according to The Associated Press.

“The amount of undercover law enforcement at Evo was unprecedented and we will be installing metal detectors for ALL days next year,” Cuellar wrote.

Sunday’s tournament in Jacksonville was being streamed on Twitch, a gaming live stream platform, when the sound of gunshots rang out. The director of Twitch’s esports programs, Cristian Tamas, said on Twitter that he was heartbroken to hear of Sunday’s deadly attack.

“Unfortunately, this was a matter of when not if,” Tamas wrote. “Esport event security, in general, has been extremely poor over the years, we should've stepped it up long ago.”

It was not immediately clear what kind of security measures were in place for Saturday’s “Madden 19 NFL Classic,” according to the AP. Derek Jones, a gamer who traveled from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Jacksonville for the event, told the AP he saw no noticeable security at the tournament.

“I’ve been telling them this for a while, that you need to make the players feel safe,” Jones told the AP.

Update 1 p.m. EDT Aug. 27: Dennis Alston, a New Jersey man known in the Madden competitive gaming circuit as “Evil Ken,” told WJAX that he thought the man who opened fire during Sunday’s Madden tournament in Jacksonville targeted players, but not necessarily those who beat him.

Alston told WJAX he tried to shake David Katz’s hand after he beat the 24-year-old, but that Katz didn’t respond.

“He just looked at me,” Alston said. “He didn’t say anything.”

He said he and another player beat Katz and “we’re both still here so, I felt like he was targeting but I don’t think it was the people that beat him.”

Later, Alston said he saw Katz fire as many as 10 shots.

“(He) pointed my way,” Alston told WJAX. “I had to to cover.”

He described Katz as a “well-known competitor” but added that he appeared to be acting strangely Sunday.

“He had shades on,” Alston told WJAX. “He didn’t speak to anybody.”

Authorities said three people, including Katz, were killed and 11 others injured in Sunday’s attack.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Gamer who beat suspected Jacksonville shooter: 'It's stuff you see in movies'

Update 9 a.m. EDT Aug. 27: Officials at Jacksonville’s Memorial  Hospital have identified four people treated as a result of Sunday’s shooting, WJAX reported

Officials said David Echevarria, 28, was treated for minor injuries and released while three others remained hospitalized Monday in good condition.

George Amadeo II, 17, suffered unspecified injuries. Alexander Madunic, 27, was treated for a gunshot wound to his foot. Christoper McFarland, 31, was treated for a bullet graze to his head.

Two other people, identified by friends and family as Eli Clayton, 22, and Taylor Robertson, 27, were killed in Sunday’s shooting.

Update 11:52 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: Competitors Eli Clayton and Taylor Robertson were fatally shot Sunday during a Madden 19 competition, the victims’ families told WJAX

While investigators have not released or confirmed the victims’ identities, friends and family are sharing their condolences on social media.

Clayton competed under the name “Trueboy,” and Robertson used the name “SpotMePlzz.”

Update 7:37 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: Two people were killed and nine others wounded by gunfire when David Katz opened fire Sunday afternoon during a video game competition, officials said. Katz killed himself in the melee.

Two other people were also sustained injuries but they were not gunshot wounds, Sheriff Mike Williams said. 

Although witnesses have said he was angry about the tournament, Williams did not give a motive as to why Katz, 24, of Baltimore, started shooting.

Update 5:43 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: The shooter lost an intense game at the tournament, snapped, and started shooting, sources told WJAX

The shooter, who has not been identified, died at the scene, investigators said.

Update 4:15 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: A Jacksonville area hospital confirmed that six patients were admitted from the shooting. One is in serious condition and five are in good condition, officials said.

Update 4:03 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: The Florida Highway Patrol has closed the Main Street Bridge, which leads to the Jacksonville Landing, to pedestrian traffic. 

UF Health Jacksonville confirms: Six patients here. One serious condition, five good condition.

Update 3:52 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that President Donald Trump had been briefed about the shooting and was monitoring the situation.

FHP now closing the Main St. Bridge to pedestrian traffic

Update 3:45 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: The Jacksonville Landing was live-streaming a tournament for the NFL computer game qualifying round when the shooting occurred. Organizers of the event said the average age of children in the tournament was 16.

Update 3:15 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office asked people that were hiding to call 911 so authorities could escort them safely from the scene.

Update 3:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: The shooting reportedly happened at Chicago Pizza during a Madden Tournament video gaming event, the Sheriff’s Office said, and occurred at about 1:45 p.m. 

Update 3:02 p.m. EDT Aug. 26The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said one suspect was dead at the scene. Authorities added that it was unknown whether there were other suspects.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

‘Odd Couple’ playwright Neil Simon dead at 91

Neil Simon, the author of iconic plays such as “The Odd Couple,” “Barefoot in the Park” and “Lost in Yonkers,” died Sunday, The Washington Post reported. He was 91.

>> Read more trending news 

According to TMZ, Simon died at 1 a.m. Sunday morning. His death was announced by his publicist, Bill Evans, The New York Times reported.

According to a statement,“Neil Simon the Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, died last night at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. The cause was complications from pneumonia.

“His wife, Elaine Joyce Simon, was at his bedside along with Mr. Simon’s daughters, Ellen Simon and Nancy Simon.”

Simon, who was born in The Bronx, won a Pulitzer Prize, three Tony Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor and a Golden Globe Award, The New York Post reported. IKn 1983 a Broadway theater was named after him, making him the only living playwright to have such an honor, the newspaper reported.

>> Photos: Notable deaths of 2018

Time magazine once called Simon the “patron saint of laughter.”

Simon wrote dozens of plays, the scripts for five musicals and more than 20 screenplays, the Washington Post reported.

In the late 1960s and in the mid-1980s, there were four Simon shows playing simultaneously on Broadway, according to the Washington Post. In 1966, those plays were “Sweet Charity,” “The Star-Spangled Girl,” “The Odd Couple” and “Barefoot in the Park,” according to Variety.

“The Odd Couple” also had success as a film and as a television series, while “Barefoot in the Park” also had a memorable run as a film.

Paul Manafort guilty on 8 charges in bank fraud, conspiracy trial; mistrial declared on 10 counts

A Virginia jury has found Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, guilty on eight charges, but could not reach a consensus on 10 other counts in Manafort’s bank fraud and conspiracy trial, according to The Associated Press.

>> Read more trending news  

The judge in the case declared a mistrial on those 10 counts.

The jury found Manafort guilty of five counts of tax fraud, two charges of bank fraud and a charge of hiding foreign bank accounts, according to multiple news outlets.

Trump, saying he felt bad for Manafort,  weighed in on the verdict calling it a “witch hunt” and a “disgrace.”

He also said Manafort’s conviction “has nothing to do with Russian collusion,” the AP reported.

There’s no sentencing date, yet, but Manafort is facing 80 years in prison on the 8 guilty counts, CNN reported.

Prosecutors have until the end of August to make a decision on the 10 counts that jurors could not reach a decision on which resulted in the mistrial.

Manafort was charged with 18 counts of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, as well as filing false income tax forms and failing to file foreign bank account reports. 

Jurors deliberated for five days before returning a partial verdict Tuesday.

>> Related: Who is Paul Manafort, the man indicted in Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation?

They heard 11 days of testimony from more than two dozen witnesses, including Manafort’s longtime business partner and former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, according to Reuters.

Earlier Tuesday, jurors has asked how to handle the case if they were unable to come to consensus on one of the 18 charges. Judge T.S. Ellis ordered them to continue deliberating but added that he might accept a partial verdict, if no consensus could be reached.

Prosecutors said Manafort hid at least $16 million in income from the IRS between 2010 and 2014 by disguising the money he earned advising politicians in Ukraine as loans and hiding it in foreign banks. Then, after his money in Ukraine dried up, they allege he defrauded banks by lying about his income on loan applications and concealing other financial information, such as mortgages.

The cash supported Manafort’s extravagant lifestyle, prosecutors said, funding real estate purchases in New York and Virginia and the purchase of luxury items, including a $15,000 jacket made of ostrich skin, Reuters reported.

The defense tried to pin the blame for Manafort’s financial mistakes on Gates, who was indicted alongside Manafort in October. Gates pleaded guilty in February to charges of making false statements and conspiring against the United States and agreed to work with prosecutors.

Manafort’s attorneys did not call any witnesses to testify in his defense. He did not take the stand.

>> Related: Mueller investigation: DOJ OK’d probe into alleged collusion between Manafort, Russians

Manafort’s trial was the first prompted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, although the case didn’t touch on allegations of interference. It was during the special counsel’s investigation that Mueller’s legal team said it discovered that Manafort had hidden millions of dollars that he had received in exchange for work he did for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Manafort is expected to face a second trial on additional charges in September.

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mike Huckabee on board quarantined American Airlines plane in Nashville

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was among the passengers on board an American Airlines plane that was quarantined in Nashville early Thursday. That plane has since “been cleared” and the passengers allowed to leave, according to WZTV.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 9:10 a.m. EDT Aug. 16: Huckabee thanked American Airlines employees for their professionalism  in a tweet Thursday morning.

“Kudos to @AmericanAir pilot and crew -- handled medical issue on red eye from LAX to Nashville very professionally,” Huckabee wrote. “We were held for a while as medical personnel made sure the person wasn’t Gwyneth Paltrow from Contagion. Seriously, hope the lady is okay -- taken on gurney.”

Airport officials said in a statement released to The Tennessean Thursday morning that American Airlines Flight 1289 was quarantined as a precaution because of fears that a passenger’s recent illness might still be contagious. The plane has since been cleared and all passengers released, according to multiple reports.

Officials did not identify the illness.

Update 8:40 a.m. EDT Aug. 16: Nashville International Airport spokesperson Shannon Sumrall said in a statement released to The Tennessean that passengers were held Thursday morning on American Airlines Flight 1289 as a precaution because of a passenger’s recent illness.

Sumrall told the newspaper that a physician “medically cleared” the passenger ahead of the flight, but that the passenger did not have paperwork to confirm his or her health.

“(The passenger) was talking bout the recent illness and other passengers on board became worried of exposure,” Sumrall told The Tennessean. “For safety, passengers were held by BNA (Nashville International Airport) Police until contact was made with the physician to confirm clearance, which it was.”

Officials did not identify the illness.

Update 7:52 a.m. EDT Aug. 16: The American Airlines passenger who appeared to be ill “has been cleared,” WZTV reports. The passengers are now off the plane, the station said.

Original report: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is on board an American Airlines plane that has been quarantined in Nashville, WZTV reports.

Flight 1289, which traveled from Los Angeles to Nashville overnight, was detained at Nashville International Airport after a passenger appeared to be sick, an American Airlines spokeswoman told the news station.

>> Read more trending news 

Huckabee tweeted about the incident early Thursday.

“5 hr red eye flight on @AmericanAir Nashville from LA. On ground for 40 min and now told someone on board is sick & we are being towed to other gate and quarantined until all checked out. Can’t get up to go to bathroom or get off plane. It’s the Russians! I just know it!” he wrote just after 6:30 a.m. EDT Thursday.

“1 hr after landing got to far away gate where @AmericanAir will hopefully get us off this plane! Medical [personnel] at gate. Hope it’s not because I got that straw in CA,” he added.

According to WZTV, “the plane was taken to a remote portion of the airport where emergency personnel were waiting for the plane.” Those on board were instructed to stay put as a Vanderbilt Hospital doctor examined the patient.

Read more here.

Arizona trooper in training killed, 2 hurt in shooting

An Arizona state trooper was shot and killed and two others were wounded Wednesday night after a man wrestled a gun from one of the troopers and opened fire in Avondale, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 12:10 p.m. EDT July  26: Two troopers injured Wednesday in a deadly struggle with a suspect on Interstate 10 have been released from the hospital, according to authorities.

Trooper Dalin Dorris suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder while Trooper Sean Rodecap suffered unspecified injuries after responding to reports of a man throwing things at vehicles in the eastbound lanes of I-10 in Avondale. Officials said Dorris joined the Arizona Department of Public Safety in December 2005. Rodecap was hired in May 2008.

A third trooper who was shot in the attack, Tyler Edenhofer, died of his injuries, Arizona DPS Director Col. Frank Milstead said.

A man was in custody in connection with the incident on Thursday. His name was not immediately released.

Authorities continue to investigate the shooting.

Update 10:15 a.m. EDT July 26: Authorities said Thursday morning that a third Arizona state trooper also suffered injuries in a deadly shooting Wednesday night on I-10.

The trooper was identified as Sean Rodecap, 32, KPHO reported. According to the news station, Rodecap’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Update 10:05 a.m. EDT July 26: Col. Frank Milstead, director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, identified the slain trooper as Tyler Edenhofer on Thursday morning. Milstead said Edenhofer was still in training after graduating in May from the State Trooper Academy.

“The DPS family is in mourning,” Milstead said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Lives have been shattered and ruined, and we’re all in a little bit of a state of shock this morning.”

Edenhofer and Trooper Dalin Dorris were injured Wednesday after responding to a report of a man throwing things at vehicles on Interstate 10, Milstead said. Witnesses told police the man was going in and out of the roadway.

One trooper initially responded to the incident. Milstead said two other troopers later arrived, including Edenhofer. The man struggled with authorities when they attempted to take him into custody, officials said.

“During the struggle, one of the troopers lot his firearm to the subject,” Milstead said. “The subject fired at least two rounds from the duty weapon, striking Officer Dalin Dorris in the upper right trap, a through-and-through wound.”

Dorris was continuing to recover Thursday. 

“He’s in good spirits, considering the circumstances,” Milstead said.

Authorities continue to investigate the incident.

Update 6:55 a.m. EDT July 26: According to KNXV, the Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers responded to a report of a “vehicle behaving erratically on Interstate 10.” They confronted the suspect, who grabbed one trooper’s gun and opened fire, authorities said.

One trooper died, while the second, who was shot in the shoulder, was injured, the DPS said.

KNXV’s Megan Thompson tweeted that the slain trooper “had just graduated from the academy about 2 months ago” and “was finishing up his field training.”

>> Read more trending news 

Beijing explosion: Man detonated bomb outside U.S. Embassy, police say

A man detonated a bomb outside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Thursday, Beijing police said. The suspected bomber was the only person injured in the blast, according to an embassy spokesperson.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 8:45 a.m. EDT July 26: In a statement posted on its website, the Beijing Police Department identified the suspect by his surname, Jiang, and said he was a 26-year-old man from Tongliao city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, according to The Associated Press.

“He was injured on the hand by the explosive device, which was made from fireworks,” the AP reported, citing police.

The circumstances leading to the bombing were not immediately clear. Authorities continue to investigate.

A U.S. Embassy spokesperson earlier said in a statement to CNN that the suspect was the only person injured in the explosion. No embassy property was damaged.

Update 3:04 a.m. EDT July 26: The Hong Kong Free Press, citing an embassy spokesperson, is reporting that “an explosive device was detonated” outside the building about 1 p.m. local time Thursday. Only the bomber was hurt, the newspaper tweeted.

Police identified the suspected bomber as a “26-year-old Inner Mongolian man,” the newspaper reported.

The Free Press said it wasn’t yet known whether the explosion was connected to earlier reports that a woman sprayed gasoline on herself.

Update 2:32 a.m. EDT July 26: State media is reporting that police detained a woman who sprayed gasoline on herself about 11 a.m. local time Thursday, according to the AP.

Several photos and videos circulated on social media after the possible blast filled the air with clouds of smoke.

>> Read more trending news 

Pop star Demi Lovato ‘awake and in stable condition’ after apparent drug overdose

Pop star Demi Lovato suffered an apparent drug overdose Tuesday and was revived by emergency responders at her home in Hollywood Hills, California, before she was transported to an area hospital, according to multiple news reports.

>> Read more trending news   

Update 10:50 p.m. EDT July 24: Lovato’s aunt Kerissa Dunn said in a social media post that the singer is “awake and in stable condition” at a Hollywood area hospital.

Dunn asked for prayers and said “we almost lost her today” in reference to the apparent overdose that put the troubled star in the hospital.

(Original story)

Lovato, 25, reportedly suffered the overdose at her home in Hollywood Hills just before noon and was treated with Narcan, a medication used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, before being rushed to an area hospital, TMZ reported.

People is reporting she’s “Okay and stable,” according to a source.

Related: ‘Addiction is a terrifying disease’: Celebrities react to Demi Lovato’s reported heroin overdose

Lovato has battled substance abuse for years, including several stints in rehab. 

Although she celebrated 6 years of sobriety in March, she admitted she relapsed in a song called "Sober," released in June. The single’s release came two months after a photo of her appearing to hold a glass of alcohol at a party surfaced on Instagram.

Related: Demi Lovato details 2016 Met Gala encounter that led her to an AA meeting

She performed the song Sunday at a concert with Iggy Azalea at the California Mid-State Fair.

Related: Photos: Demi Lovato through the years

Lovato admitted that she started using drugs at age 17 in her 2012 documentary, "Stay Strong." She entered treatment for the first time at age 18 after a two month bender that included cocaine and adderall. She later relapsed again.

“I was using while I had a sober companion and I went through like 20 sober companions. I was either craving drugs or on drugs. I was not easy to work with,” Lovato said in her documentary. “It’s embarrassing to look back at the person that I was.”

In 2016, she became co-owner of CAST Centers in Los Angeles, the same treatment center she went to when she was 18. She reportedly split from the center and her former life coach and CAST Centers founder, Mike Bayer, in 2018.

Check back for more on this developing story.

Kelcie Willis with the Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this story.

9 members of one family among 17 killed in duck boat accident on lake in Branson, Missouri 

A duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, killed 17 people Thursday night, including the boat’s driver and nine members of an Indiana family, according to authorities. Fourteen other people were injured.

>> Read more trending news 

Update 12:50 p.m. EDT July 22: The 17 people killed in the duck boat accident have all been identified, according to The Associated Press. They are:

Indiana family members 45-year-old Angela Coleman, 1-year-old Arya Coleman, 69-year-old Belinda Coleman, 76-year-old Ervin Coleman, 7-year-old Evan Coleman, 40-year-old Glenn Coleman, 70-year-old Horace Coleman, 2-year-old Maxwell Coleman, and 9-year-old Reece Coleman.

Missouri natives 69-year-old William Asher, 68-year-old Rosemarie Hamann, 63-year-old Janice Bright, 65-year-old William Bright, and 73-year-old Bob Williams.

Arkansas natives 53-year-old Steve Smith and 15-year-old Lance Smith.

Illinois native Leslie Dennison, 64.

Update 8:45 a.m. EDT July 21: The Stone County coroner confirmed to KSDK that William Asher, 69, and his girlfriend, Rose Hamann, were among those killed in Thursday night's duck boat accident in Missouri.

The news station reported that the couple lived in St. Louis County, Missouri. They were visiting Branson to celebrate Hamann’s birthday, which was on Monday, according KSDK.

Todd Dennison’s mother, 64-year-old Leslie Dennison, was also killed in the boat accident, the Kansas City Star reported. In an emotional and brief interview Friday, Todd Dennison told the newspaper that his mother was visiting Branson with his 12-year-old daughter, Alicia, and that they were together for less than an hour before they boarded the duck boat.

He told the Star that while in the hospital on Thursday night, his daughter told him that she could feel her grandmother pushing her upward from below while the boat was sinking.“She said her grandmother saved her,” Todd Dennison told the Star.

Update 1:30 a.m. EDT July 21: Authorities have identified more victims in the duck boat accident.

Steve Smith and his teenage son, Lance Smith, from Osceola, Arkansas, were among those killed in the crash.

Steve Smith was a pastor and Lance Smith was preparing to open his own church in less than a week, according to CNN, first reported by The Christian Chronicle

Steve Smith’s daughter, Loren Smith, suffered a concussion during the accident but survived.

Smith’s wife, Pam Smith, opted to stay behind and was not on the boat.

William and Janice Bright from Higginsville, Missouri, near Kansas City, were also identified as victims in the crash.

WDAF reports that the couple had three children, 16 grandchildren and had been married for 45 years.

“My great nieces and nephews now have no grandparents,” Karen Abbott, William Bright’s sister, told WDAF.

Update 11:00 p.m. EDT July 20: A summer vacation ended in tragedy for nine members of an Indiana family, along with eight other tourists, killed when a duck boat capsized Thursday evening on a lake in Branson, Missouri.

The Coleman family had traveled to Branson for their annual road trip, according to The New York Times, which interviewed Carolyn Coleman.

Coleman said she lost two of her brothers-in-law and that three generations of the family died in the accident, including four young children, the Times reported.

“We just lost some wonderful people,” she said.

The Indianapolis Star reported that the four children killed in the accident were all under the age of 10.

"They were very loved," Ingrid Coleman Douglas said in a telephone interview with the Star.

Coleman Douglas said the victims included two of her uncles, cousins and their children.

"It’s a huge family on all sides. It’s unimaginable. I would never have thought I would have lost this number of people this way," she said.

Coleman Douglas identified the victims as her uncles Horace "Butch" Coleman and Irving Raymond Coleman; Horace Coleman's wife, Belinda Coleman; her cousins, Angela Coleman and Glenn Coleman; Angela's 2-year-old son Maxwell; Glenn's two sons Evan and Reece; and his 1-year-old daughter, Arya.

Glenn's wife, Tia Coleman, and Angela's older son, whose name has not been released, survived the accident, the Star reported.

Update 5:15 p.m. EDT July 20: Stone County authorities now say all 17 of the victims in the duck boat accident have been accounted for and that nine of the victims were from the same family, according to Gov. Mike Parson’s office. Two members of the family, identified by local news outlets as the Coleman family, survived. Officials said the victims range in age from 1 to 70 years old.

Meantime, mourners are putting flowers on the victims’ cars in the Ride the Ducks parking lot, and the community of Branson, Missouri, is holding several candlelight vigils Friday night in memory of those killed. 

One of the vigils is scheduled at Table Rock Lake where the accident happened, according to KY3-TV.

Update 4:30 p.m. EDT July 20: Family and friends are mourning the staggering loss of life on Table Rock Lake Thursday evening.

One woman lost nine members of her family, USA Today reported, citing Gov. Mike Parson’s office.

Update 2:20 p.m. EDT July 20: Branson Mayor Karen Best told The Associated Press that Bob Williams, the man who was driving the Ride the Ducks boat that sunk Thursday in a southwest Missouri lake, was a “great ambassador for Branson” who “was at every event.”

Seventeen people died, including Williams, and 14 others were injured Thursday when the duck boat capsized in Table Rock Lake, according to authorities.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said earlier Friday that the boat’s captain survived.

In a statement posted on Facebook, employees of Ride the Ducks Branson said the business would be closed “while we support the investigation, and to allow time to grieve for the families and the community.”

“This incident has deeply affected all of us. Words cannot convey how profoundly our hearts are breaking,” the statement said. “Thank you for your support, and we ask that your thoughts and prayers be with the families during this time.”

Update 11:40 a.m. EDT July 20: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said Friday morning that authorities recovered four more bodies after a duck boat capsized in southwest Missouri, KSMU reported, bringing the death toll from Thursday’s incident to 17.

Rader said 14 people were taken to hospitals after the incident. He said the driver of the Ride the Ducks boat died. The captain survived.

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT July 20: Nearly two decades ago, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a warning about boats with overhead canopies like the one that sank Thursday on Table Rock Lake after a deadly accident claimed 13 lives in Arkansas, according to the Kansas City Star.

The Miss Majestic duck boat was carrying 21 passengers when it sank in 1999 in Lake Hamilton, the Star reported. Authorities found seven dead passengers trapped inside the boat when they recovered it, four of which were pinned to the underside of the canopy, according to the Star.

“Contributing to the high loss of life was a continuous canopy roof that entrapped passengers within the sinking vehicle,” NTSB officials said in an accident report.

Authorities continued searching Friday for four people who are presumed dead after Thursday’s accident in southwest Missouri. Officials said 13 other people have been confirmed dead in the incident.

Update 10:25 a.m. EDT July 20: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said divers are going back in the water Friday in search of four people who remain missing and are presumed dead after Thursday’s duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake.

Rader said the search had shifted to “recovery mode for the bodies that are still missing,” at a news conference Friday morning.

"It's been a long night,” Rader said. “It's been a very trying night.”

Rader said the driver of the Ride the Ducks boat died but that the captain survived.

Update 10:05 a.m. EDT July 20: Authorities are expected to provide an update on the investigation into Thursday's deadly duck boat accident in Missouri at a news conference Friday.

Update 9:55 a.m. EDT July 20: President Donald Trump shared sympathies Friday to the families and friends of the people involved in Thursday’s deadly duck boat accident in southwest Missouri.

“Such a tragedy, such a great loss,” the president wrote Friday in a tweet. “May God be with you all!”

Update 8:15 a.m. EDT July 20: Officials with the State Highway Patrol said Friday that two more bodies have been found after Thursday’s duck boat accident in southwest Missouri, bringing the death toll to 13.

 >> On AJC.com: Bahamas boating tragedy brings vacation safety to the forefront

State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace said four other people remained missing.

Original report: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said 14 people were taken to hospitals after the incident. Seven were being treated early Friday, he said.

The boat capsized after a strong line of thunderstorms moved through the area around 7 p.m. Thursday. Rader said weather “was a factor” in the incident.

Authorities said the boat had 31 people on board, including children, when it capsized. 

The boat had life jackets on board, according to CNN. The news network reported that other boats on the water docked before the bad weather hit.

The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to investigate and are asking anyone who witnessed the accident to come forward.

A dive team and rescue officials worked through the night to find survivors.

They ended the search around 11 p.m., according to KY3.

Emergency responders set up a staging area overnight on the lakeshore near the Showboat Branson Belle, local media reported, although the Belle was not involved in the accident.

Branson officials opened an emergency shelter inside city hall for the victims.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Linderberg said a top wind speed of 63 mph was measured around 7 p.m. Thursday at Branson Airport. 

“There’s nothing to slow down winds in an open area,” he said.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is watching the developments.

DUKW, known as duck boats, are six-wheel-drive amphibious vehicles that were used by the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War. 

Since then, duck boat tours have become popular and are offered on lakes and rivers around the United States, including Missouri, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Alabama.

Ripley Entertainment acquired the Ride The Ducks in Branson in late 2017 from Ride the Ducks International, a subsidiary of Norcross, Georgia-based Herschend Family Entertainment Corp.

Ride the Ducks International manufactures amphibious vehicles and licenses them for tours at affiliates. It also operates duck tours at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia. The company formerly operated tours in several other cities, including Baltimore, San Francisco and Philadelphia. But in recent years it ended operations following deadly accidents. 

In 2015, a Ride the Ducks tour bus collided with a charter bus carrying student on the Aurora bridge in Seattle.

Five students were killed and several others injured.

The Associated Press and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.

Live updates: All 12 boys, soccer coach rescued from Thai cave

A more than two-week ordeal came to an end Tuesday after rescue crews evacuated a man and the last of 12 boys who became trapped on June 23 in a cave in northern Thailand.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 11:05 a.m. EDT July 10: At a news conference Tuesday, rescuers remembered Sgt. Sama Kunan, a former Thai navy SEAL who died last week while replenishing oxygen canisters for the trapped boys and their coach. The 38-year-old triathlete ran out of air in the flooded cave, according to CNN.

He was remembered Tuesday to resounding cheers in Thailand. Across social media, he was hailed as a hero.

Narongsak Osatanakorn, who headed the rescue mission, confirmed Tuesday that the “Wild Boars” soccer team and its coach were at a hospital after divers, including Kunan, worked for days to free them.

"I can officially say that the rest of the boys have been rescued,” Osatanakorn said. “Their parents are going home to take a shower and change. They should be able to visit the children through the glass tonight."

Officials have been keeping those rescued from the cave in quarantine as they undergo a battery of tests to check for diseases and infections that they might have contracted while trapped in the cave.

Update 10:10 a.m. EDT July 10: A doctor and Navy SEALs who remained in Tham Luang Nang Non after 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued Tuesday have left the cave, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The Thai government on Tuesday released a photo of the “Wild Boars” soccer team, including the boys, who are aged between  11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach.

"Hurray," Thai government officials wrote on Facebook. "They are coming home."

Update 9:25 a.m. EDT July 10: Celebrations have broken out in Thailand after rescuers evacuated a soccer coach and the last four of his 12 team members after they were trapped for more than two weeks in a cave.

A crowd of well-wishers gathered outside Chiang Rai hospital, where the boys were being treated after their rescues, BBC News reported.

On Thai television, volunteer rescue workers were seen singing and dancing in celebration, The Guardian reported.

Update 9 a.m. EDT July 10: President Donald Trump and billionaire Elon Musk were among those who shared congratulations Tuesday after divers managed to rescue a team of youth soccer players and their coach from a cave in northern Thailand.

“On behalf of the United States, congratulations to the Thai Navy SEALs and all on the successful rescue of the 12 boys and their coach from the treacherous cave in Thailand,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “Such a beautiful moment - all freed, great job!”

Musk, who sent engineers and a “kid-size submarine” to help in the rescue efforts, also heralded the news.

Update 8:08 a.m. EDT July 10: The Thai navy SEALs Facebook page has shared the following posts:

“Twelve ‘Wild Boars’ and coach out of the cave. Everyone safe,” the post said, adding that four “frogs” remain. According to the Guardian, the term “frogs” is referring to three divers and a doctor who were helping the boys and their coach.

second post asked onlookers to “send encouragement” to those rescuers.

Update 7:57 a.m. EDT July 10: The Thai navy SEALs say the coach has been rescued, as well, The Associated Press is reporting.

Update 7:49 a.m. EDT July 10: A 12th boy has been rescued from the cave, CNN and Reuters are reporting. Officials have not confirmed the reports.

Update 7:32 a.m. EDT July 10: Reporters at the scene say they have seen a helicopter fly by, presumably taking one of the rescued boys to the hospital.

The news came not long after the Thai navy SEAL Facebook page shared a message that roughly translates as, “Tonight, all the ‘Wild Boars’ will be in group again. Hooyah ...”

Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters that the trapped boys were given an anti-anxiety drug to keep them calm while evacuating from the cave. He specified that the drug was not an anesthetic, according to the Guardian.

Update 6:19 a.m. EDT July 10: An 11th boy has been rescued from the cave, CNN and Reuters are reporting. Officials have not confirmed the reports.

Update 5:41 a.m. EDT July 10: A 10th boy has been rescued from the cave, CNN and Reuters are reporting. Officials have not confirmed the reports.

Update 5:13 a.m. EDT July 10: A ninth boy has been rescued from the cave, CNN and the Sydney Morning Herald are reporting. Officials have not confirmed the reports. 

Update 1:42 a.m. EDT July 10: Rescuers are not planning to use the mini-submarine designed by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, said Narongsak Osatanakorn, who is leading the mission.

“Although his technology is good and sophisticated, it’s not practical for this mission,” Osatanakorn said Tuesday, according to the Guardian.

Update 1:17 a.m. EDT July 10: According to the Guardian, 19 divers are involved in Tuesday’s mission to free the last four boys and the coach from the cave, officials said.

Update 11:45 p.m. EDT July 9: Thai health officials are releasing more information on the condition of the rescued boys.

The first four boys rescued on Sunday are between the ages of 14 and 16, according to The Associated Press, and two of them may be suffering from lung infections. Officials said they’ll remain hospitalized for at least seven days and will undergo psychological evaluations even though they’re said to be in “high spirits,” the AP reported.

The Guardian is reporting the boys have also seen their parents for the first time since leaving the cave.

Update 11:15 p.m. EDT July 9: Divers and emergency responders have started on what could be the final phase of an attempt to rescue five remaining members of a youth soccer team from a cave in northern Thailand, according to CNN.

Four boys and their coach were still trapped some two-and-a-half miles inside the network of caves located near Thailand’s border with Myanmar as monsoon rains resumed Tuesday.

 

Although authorities have managed to pump water out of the cave system, officials fear the rains could begin to fill it up again and create even more dangerous conditions as divers try and reach the remaining team members.

CNN cited a Thai Navy official for the latest information on the attempted rescue, which is expected to take hours.

Emergency responders rested Monday after bringing out four more boys and said they needed time to refill their oxygen tanks before making another attempt.

A total of 8 boys have been rescued so far after members of the soccer team became trapped in the cave on June 23 during a hike.

Update 11:15 a.m. EDT July 9: The four boys who were pulled Monday from Tham Luang Nang Non were in better condition than the four boys rescued Sunday, the person in charge of the rescue mission said Monday night at a news conference, according to CNN.

Narongsak Osotthanakorn declined to elaborate on the condition of the boys, except to say that they were in good condition, CNN reported.

>> Elon Musk sends 'kid-size submarine' to help Thai cave rescue efforts

At least one more rescue mission will be needed to free the five people that remain trapped, including the team’s 25-year-old coach. Officials earlier said that the boys, who decided to explore the cave system with their coach after soccer practice on June 23, range in age from 11 to 16.

Update 10 a.m. EDT July 9: Thai government officials confirmed on social media that four boys were rescued Monday from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, bringing the total number of boys evacuated from the Tham Luang cave to eight.

Four boys and their 25-year-old coach remained trapped.

Update 8:55 a.m. EDT July 9: Rescue operations have been suspended for the day in Thailand’s Tham Luang cave after four boys were rescued Monday, CNN reported, citing a person working with the rescue team. Monday’s rescues brought the total number of boys saved from the cave to eight.

Four other boys and their coach remained trapped Monday.

Officials did not immediately confirm the rescues, however, The Associated Press noted that officials waited several hours before confirming that four boys had been pulled from the cave Sunday.

The boys’ conditions were not immediately known. Several ambulances were seen leaving the area Monday night.

Update 8:06 a.m. EDT July 9: CNN and Al Jazeera are reporting that an eighth boy has been rescued from the cave. Officials have not confirmed these reports.

Update 7:52 a.m. EDT July 9: CNN and the Sydney Morning Herald are reporting that a seventh boy has been rescued from the cave. Officials have not confirmed the reports.

Update 7:19 a.m. EDT July 9: The Guardian and the Sydney Morning Herald are reporting that a sixth boy has been rescued from the cave. Officials have not confirmed the reports.

Update 6:31 a.m. EDT July 9: Multiple news outlets are reporting that an ambulance drove away from the cave site amid unconfirmed reports that a fifth boy was evacuated. 

“The ambulance drove toward a helipad, where a helicopter was seen taking off shortly after to the cheers of the crowd below,” The Associated Press reported.

Update 6:01 a.m. EDT July 9: CNN and Reuters are reporting that a fifth boy has been rescued from the cave. Officials have not confirmed the reports.

Update 4:08 a.m. EDT July 9: The Guardian reported the following key updates from the press briefing with Chiang Rai’s acting governor, Narongsak Osatanakorn:

  • The boys rescued Sunday are OK and are already asking to eat basil with chicken.
  • Law enforcement officials are complaining about journalists listening to the police radio and flying a drone above the rescue site.
  • Authorities may let the rescued boys’ parents see them through a “glass room.”
  • Monday’s rescue mission resumed at 11 a.m. local time (12 a.m. EDT).
  • Officials said rain Sunday “did not affect water levels inside the cave.”
  • The boys being rescued first are “the perfect ones, the most ready ones.”
  • Officials “hope to hear good news in the next few hours.”

Read more here.

Update 3:44 a.m. EDT July 9: According to the Guardian, Thai officials say divers have resumed the rescue mission to evacuate the trapped boys. Officials are expected to give a press briefing shortly.

Update 2:12 a.m. EDT July 9: Thai officials still have not held their daily press conference about Monday’s rescue operations, the Guardian is reporting.

Officials said earlier Monday that divers will need “several hours” to “place more air canisters along the underwater route” before resuming the mission, according to the newspaper.

Jacob Goldberg, a reporter at the scene, tweeted that a helicopter and ambulance appeared to be heading to the rescue site.

He also reported heavy rain in the area.

Update 10:15 p.m. EDT July 8: After heavy rains poured throughout the night, the next phase of the rescue mission could begin within a 10-hour window Monday morning, according to The Associated Press

It is still unclear how the monsoon rains affected water levels inside the cave where eight boys and their coach remain trapped. 

A 60 percent chance of rain is forecast for Monday, Thailand’s Meteorological Department said. 

Elon Musk posted video Sunday evening of a test of a child-size submersible that could be used for the rescue mission.

If successful the sub would be flown 17 hours to Thailand.

Update 10:20 a.m. EDT July 8:  Narongsak Osotthanakorn, Chiang Rai’s governor who is heading the cave rescue, said the next phase of the rescue operation will begin in 10 to 20 hours, The Associated Press reported.

Update 9:56 a.m. EDT July 8: Four boys evacuated from the cave “are safely in doctors’ hands,” Narongsak Osotthanakorn, Chiang Rai’s governor, said at a news conference.

The boys were wearing full face masks, the governor said.

Update 9:02 a.m. EDT July 8: Thai navy SEALS said four soccer team members have been removed from the cave, according to The Associated Press.

“The 4th wild boar is out of the cave,” the Thai navy Seals wrote on their Facebook page.

Update 8:42 a.m. EDT July 8: "Two kids are out. They are currently at the field hospital near the cave," said Tossathep Boonthong, chief of Chiang Rai's health department and part of the rescue team, according to an NBC News report.

"We are giving them a physical examination. They have not been moved to Chiang Rai hospital yet," Tossathep told Reuters.

Update 8:04 a.m. EDT July 8: Two boys have been rescued from the cave, NBC News and Reuters are reporting.

Multiple news outlets are reporting that an ambulance was seen leaving the cave rescue site. 

Update 5:53 a.m. EDT July 8: The first of four groups of boys should be making the journey toward the cave’s mouth, according to the Guardian.

Officials said two rescue divers will lead each of the boys through the cave using rope, the newspaper reported. The boys will wear face masks.

Meanwhile, officials appeared to be testing an idea similar to one proposed by SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk.

Update 1:03 a.m. EDT July 8: Chiang Rai’s acting governor, Narongsak Osatanakorn, said five divers from Thailand and 13 from other countries are participating in the rescue mission, the AP reported.

The rescuers began the operation, which officials said could take from two to four days, at 10 a.m. local time Sunday (11 p.m. EDT Saturday).

“As we look at the weather forecast, a storm is coming and torrential rain is expected, then our 100 percent readiness will decrease and we will have to pump the water out again,” Osatanakorn said, according to the Guardian.

The AP reports that “two divers will accompany each boy as they are gradually extracted.”

The boys and their families know about the operation and support it, officials said.

“Today is D-Day,” Osatanakorn said.

Read more here or here.

Update 11:44 p.m. EDT July 7: Thai officials have started a rescue mission to bring a soccer team and its coach trapped in a cave since June 23 to the surface, according to The Associated Press.

Original report: Thai authorities asked media to leave the area around the entrance of the cave, fueling speculation that rescue efforts for 12 boys and their soccer coach, who have been trapped in an underground cave since June 23, are ramping up.

>> Read more trending news 

Authorities had been working to pump out water from the flooded cave before more rains hit the country’s northern region.

>> Related: Soccer team trapped in Thai cave send handwritten letters to family, coach apologizes to parents

The boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach decided to go exploring in the cave after competing in a soccer game. Flooding brought on by the monsoon cut off their escape, preventing rescuers from finding them for almost 10 days.

>> Photos: Rescuers work to free soccer team, coach trapped in Thai cave

The group is trapped in a small chamber 2.5 miles inside the cave network. They have a limited supply of oxygen, CNN reported.

Earlier efforts to pump out water from the cave were thwarted each time there has been a heavy rain.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk sent engineers from two of his companies to Thailand on Friday in an effort to help the government rescue the group.

>> Elon Musk sending engineers to help Thai authorities in cave rescue

One rescuer, Sgt. Saman Kunan, a former Thai navy SEAL, died Thursday afternoon after a drop of oxygen levels in the caves. The drop of the oxygen levels was a cause of concern as the level was nearing a potentially dangerous point, CNN reported. 

Check back for updates to this developing story. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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