Blog Posts by Katie Kindelan

  • Tornado Hero Mom, Stephanie Decker, Returns Home

    Stephanie Decker, the 36-year-old Indiana mother who used her own body to shield her two children from a 175 mph tornado, says she is grateful for all the support her family has received and is ready to rebuild her life.

    "I feel healthy.  I feel strong.  I'm ready to tackle rehab," Decker said Friday as she left the Kentucky hospital where she's spent the past two weeks.  "I feel really, really, really good."

    Decker lost both her legs during a monster tornado outbreak in the Midwest earlier this month that included 140 reported twisters, 76 confirmed tornado landings and 39 deaths.

    As one of the tornadoes approached Decker's Henryville, Ind., home on Friday, March 2, she could feel it sucking her home into its vortex, she told ABC News.  In order to save her two children, 8-year-old son Dominic  5-year-old daughter Reese, Decker threw her body over them.

    The falling debris - refrigerator, table and cinder blocks included - crushed her legs in the process and both had

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  • Kate Middleton Delivers First Public Speech

    Kate Middleton marked another milestone in her new life as a royal today, delivering her first public address as the Duchess of Cambridge.

    Middleton, 30, spoke at the opening of The Treehouse, a hospice run by East Anglia's Children's Hospices in Ipswich, England.  The hospice is one of the carefully selected group of charitable organizations that Middleton said in January she would be contributing her time to as a patron.

    In her brief, nearly three-minute speech, Middleton called the work of the hospice "inspirational" and a "shining example."

    She also apologized for the absence of her husband, Prince William.

    "I am only sorry that William can't be here today; he would love it here," she said.  "A view of his - that I share - is that through teamwork, so much can be achieved. What you have all achieved here is extraordinary."

    Middleton is stepping out in a series of solo appearances while William is deployed on a six-week Royal Air Force deployment in the Falkland Islands.


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  • 3-Year-Old Girl Thrown from Carnival Ride at Houston Rodeo

    Dramatic video of a 3-year-old girl being thrown from a Houston carnival ride has prompted rodeo officials to change the ride’s height restriction requirements. It may also lead to tougher regulation of traveling carnivals in Texas.

    The child, whose name was not released, boarded the Techno Jump Ride with her 8-year-old brother at the RodeoHouston carnival around 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to local affiliate KTRK. RodeoHouston is a popular local attraction.

    Witnesses told the station the mother decided to get off the ride before it started, leaving the girl and her brother, who both met the ride’s height and weight requirements, alone on the ride.

    Video captured by a bystander and obtained by KTRK shows the girl starting to slip from her seat about 15 seconds into the ride.  As the ride circles around and picks up speed, the girl’s legs fly in the air before she is thrown six to eight feet to the platform below.

    Rodeo officials blamed the girl’s mother for allowing

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  • Michigan Boy, 11, Describes Being Buried For Nearly 30 Minutes

    An 11-year-old Michigan boy who survived being buried alive for nearly 30 minutes under a sand hill says it was thoughts of his family that carried him through.

    Nicholas Nelson was digging in a sandpit with his older brother, Kyle, outside their home in Saranac, Mich., about 25 miles from Grand Rapids, on Sunday afternoon when one of the tunnels he was digging collapsed on him, according to Ionia County authorities.

    The frantic 911 call made by 16-year-old Kyle as his brother was buried underneath nearly a foot of sand captures the life-and-death situation that followed.

    "Me and my brother were digging in a sandpit and it collapsed and my brother is stuck under there now," Kyle said to the dispatcher.  "I tried to get him out, but I couldn't dig fast enough."

    Kyle was soon aided by the brothers' mother, Aimee Nelson, and her boyfriend in feverishly trying to dig Nicholas out from beneath the sand.

    "I didn't know where he was because the sand pushed him down," Nelson told ABC

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  • Delta Jet Rolls Off Taxiway at Atlanta Airport

    Two maintenance workers for Delta Airlines got a surprise plane ride early this morning when the Boeing 737-700 on which they were working veered off a taxiway and down an embankment at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

    There were no passengers on board the plane and no one was injured, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

    The two Delta maintenance workers were conducting routine testing on the aircraft's engines around 5 a.m. when the brakes malfunctioned, causing the plane to move, an airline spokesman said.

    "They were testing the aircraft's engine run-up when they encountered some sort of problem with the plane's braking system," Delta spokesman Eric Torbenson told the Associated Press.

    The plane reportedly veered off Taxiway E on the east side of the airport and landed in an embankment.

    Torbenson told the AP the jet sustained "significant damage."

    The runway adjacent to Taxiway E had to be closed to allow the plane to be moved. 

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  • Two Coast Guard Searches End Badly

    The Coast Guard has recovered the bodies of three men whose boat apparently capsized during a daylong fishing trip off the coast of southern California and are trying to retrieve the body of a fourth man.

    The bodies were found by Coast Guard helicopters Sunday floating near a capsized boat off Santa Cruz Island, near Santa Barbara.  Coast Guard authorities said the boat was spotted about 20 miles away from the Channel Islands Harbor where the men had left for their trip Saturday morning.

    One body was still on the boat, two others were floating nearby in the water. Those bodies were recovered.

    A fourth body was spotted five miles from the boat, but nightfall and choppy waves forced the Coast Guard to end its effort Sunday night. The effort to retrieve the body will resume today.

    The men's identities have not been released.

    Coast Guard Lt. George Kolumbic said a search was launched after a relative of one of the men reported that they had failed to return from their fishing

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  • 'Cinnamon Challenge' Sparks Health Concerns

    A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, Mary Poppins famously sang, but a spoonful of cinnamon can cause dangerous side effects. 

    That is the warning from concerned parents, school administrators and medical experts alike in response to the "Cinnamon Challenge," a game challenging people to swallow a teaspoon of cinnamon without water in 60 seconds.

    The game has gone viral, spurred on by teens uploading thousands of videos on YouTube and Facebook showing them gagging, choking and spitting while trying to complete the challenge.

    Doctors say the challenge is impossible because the cinnamon cannot be digested without water and warn that by inhaling the cinnamon dust teens run the risk of inflaming or scarring their lungs.

    "If you have some fine particles, like cinnamon in your lungs, it may be hard to clear out," said Dr. Robert Zaid of Providence Hospital in Mobile, Ala.  "Your lungs can kind of collapse on you. There have been several cases reported where kids needed

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  • Dionne Warwick Reveals Final Conversation With Whitney Houston

    The final days and hours of Whitney Houston's life were filled with family and preparing for her comeback in music and movies, her cousin, singer Dionne Warwick, said today.

    "I spoke to Whitney the day that she passed," Warwick said today on " Good Morning America."  "I spoke to her that morning.  She said, 'You're here, aren't you? You're coming to the party, aren't you?'  I said, 'Yeah, I'm going to be there' and she said, 'Thank you, I want you to be here. You've got to be here for me.'"

    Houston was found dead Feb. 11 in the bathroom of her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles where the 48-year-old singer was preparing to attend a pre-Grammy Awards party thrown each year by her mentor, the music mogul Clive Davis.

    "I spoke to her that afternoon once I landed in L.A. and that was it," Warwick, 71, said of their last conversation.  "She was so up and ready and happy.  She had everything in the world to live for.  She had a new film that was an absolute

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  • A Polish kite surfer attempting to reach the record books instead found himself fending off 18-foot sharks with a single knife when he became stranded for two days in the Red Sea.

    Jan Lisewski, 42, was attempting to kite surf across the Red Sea when the wind stopped and his kite suddenly deflated, Reuters reported.

    Stuck two-thirds of the way into his 124-mile journey from the Egyptian town of El Gouna to Duba in Saudi Arabia, Lisewski put out an SOS signal but got no response.

    Facing nightfall and rough waters, Lisewski relied on energy drinks, water and the two energy bars he had with him to sustain him.

    He said relied on a knife he also had on hand to keep him safe against the up to 18-foot-long sharks that surrounded him. "I was stabbing them in the eyes, the nose and gills," Lisewski told Polish state news agency PAP.

    Nearly 40 hours after placing his first SOS signal, Lisewski was finally located and rescued by the Saudi Arabian coast guard.

    Lisewski made the record

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  • Scottish Teen Hits Jackpot by Cleaning His Room

    Count Ryan Kitching as the one teenager who will never again complain about having to clean his room.

    When the 19-year-old from Midlothian, Scotland, succumbed to his mom's nagging to clean out his bedroom in his parent's home last month, he found not only dirty laundry and food crumbs but 12 old lottery tickets buried among the piles.

    One of them, it turned out, was a winner that made Kitching, a part-time supermarket worker, $83,781 richer.

    "It would take me four or five years to earn this amount of money, and now I've got it all at once," Kitching told the  London newspaper The Telegraph.  "I am totally speechless - it was the happiest day of my life easily."

    Kitching  told the paper he was about to throw the tickets away in the throes of his cleaning spree when he got a "strange feeling" that he should keep them instead.

    He took the tickets to the Tesco supermarket, where both he and his mom, Susan, work and had a co-worker check the numbers.  After the co-worker began

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