Posts by Alyssa Newcomb

  • Warren 'overwhelmed' by support after son's suicide

    Alyssa Newcomb at ABC News 2 yrs ago

    Pastor Rick Warren said today he and his wife, Kay, are "overwhelmed" by the support they have received following the suicide of his 27-year-old son.

    "Kay and I are overwhelmed by your love, prayers, and kind words. You are all encouraging our #brokenhearts," Warren tweeted today to his almost 1 million followers.

    In a heartbreaking memo sent Saturday to his 20,000-strong congregation at Saddleback Church , Warren said that his son, Matthew, had committed suicide after a lifelong battle with mental illness .

  • Kidnapped 89-year-old to captors: 'You got to be kind to other people'

    Alyssa Newcomb at ABC News 2 yrs ago

    An 89-year-old woman who spent two days locked in her car trunk thinking she'd never be found has a message for her teen captors.

    "You got to be kind to other people if you want somebody to be kind to you," Margaret Smith said.

    The 4-foot-11 octangenerian's story began with an act of kindness on March 18.

    Smith had stopped at the Chicken Man Convenience Store in Milford, Del., for a Butter Pecan ice cream cone when two teenage girls approached her and asked for a ride across town.

    "I decided not to, then I said, 'Well, a good deed,'" Smith said.

  • Dental assistant fired for being 'irresistible' is 'devastated'

    Alyssa Newcomb at Good Morning America 3 yrs ago

    After working as a dental assistant for ten years, Melissa Nelson was fired for being too "irresistible" and a "threat" to her employer's marriage.

    "I think it is completely wrong," Nelson said. "I think it is sending a

    message that men can do whatever they want in the work force."

    On Friday, the all-male Iowa State Supreme Court ruled that James Knight , Nelson's boss, was within his legal rights when he fired her, affirming the decision of a lower court.

  • Newtown Boy Remembered as 'Old Soul'

    Alyssa Newcomb at ABC News Blogs 3 yrs ago

    Though he was only in first grade, Daniel Barden was very much an "old soul," his family said today. He was one of the 20 children who died Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

    At the age of 4, he displayed an empathy for others remarkable for a child so young. It didn't go unnoticed - teachers chose Daniel to be paired with a special education student at his school.

    PHOTOS: Connecticut Shooting Victims

    His mother, Jackie Barden, said she was always struck by "how unusual he was."

    "Our neighbors always said, 'He's like an old soul,'" Barden said during an interview on "Katie."

    He carried that kindness with him as he got older.

    "He would hold doors open for adults all the time," said his father, Mark Barden.

    He laughed, remembering the times he'd be "halfway" across a parking lot and see his son still holding a door for strangers.

    "Our son had so much love to give to this world," Barden said. "He was supposed to have a whole lifetime of bringing that light to the world."

  • Video: Dolphin Bites 8-Year-Old Girl at Sea World

    Alyssa Newcomb at Good Morning America 3 yrs ago

    Feeding the dolphins at Sea World was a dream come true for 8-year-old

    Jillian Thomas, until one of the marine mammals bit into her arm, nearly

    dragging her into the water. Jillian's mother took video of her

    daughter, who says dolphins are her favorite animal, feeding them at the

    theme park's Dolphin Cove.

    Jillian was in the middle of her second visit of the day to the friendly

    looking animals when she made a crucial mistake, lifting a small plate

    of dolphin food in the air out of excitement, something the park warns

    people not to do.

    The dolphin, eager for the food, chomped down on Jillian's arm instead, nearly dragging her into the water.

    The 8-year-old walked away from the encounter with a set of teeth marks the size of dimes.

    Her parents are furious and claimed Sea World employees "trivialized the attack."

    "Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our

    guests, employees and animals," Sea World said in a statement.

    "Educators and animal care staff were at the attraction when this

    happened and immediately connected with the family."

    The Thomas family said it has no plans to sue Sea World, however they

    allowed to feed the animals.

  • Volunteers chipping away at ancient sea monster

    Alyssa Newcomb at ABC News Blogs 3 yrs ago

    Today, the extinct marine reptile is a source of fascination for members of the Dallas Paleontological Society, who have spent the last four years excavating and carefully chipping away at limestone to recover the bones of the vicious animal, which dates back to the Cretaceous period and has been found around the world.

    This particular fossil of the 40-to-45-foot-long mosasaur was discovered in a creek in Garland, Texas, in 2008, said Darlene Sumerfelt, a volunteer who has been working on the project.

    "Most of the bones were embedded in limestone so they had to be excavated under harsh conditions. We used drill hammers to cut chunks in the limestone and then bring it back to the lab to be prepped," she said. "It's a long process."

    The excavation out of the creek took 750 hours, while volunteers from the Dallas Paleontological Society have spent more than 2,000 hours working with slow and steady hands to uncover bones embedded in the limestone, Sumerfelt said.