Blog Posts by Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo News

  • High school security guard charged in abuse of boy in wheelchair

    A security guard at an Oakland, California, high school was reportedly fired and charged with felony child abuse after he allegedly handcuffed, punched and threw a student from his wheelchair, according to CBS San Francisco.

    Security footage of the incident, in which a man reported to be Marchell Mitchell, 23, can be seen punching a student — identified by the San Francisco Chronicle as Francisco Martinez — in a school hallway, was released to news stations. The man identified as Mitchell then dumps the student from his wheelchair and appears as if he is preparing to strike the child again when another security guard restrains him.

    The incident occurred on May 19 at Oakland High School. In a statement, school Principal Matin Abdel-Qawi said, "I’m shocked and deeply hurt by this behavior and apologize on behalf of the staff at Oakland High. This incident is not reflective of the kind of culture we cherish at our school or how we treat one another."

    Mitchell and a co-worker were

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  • 'Joe the Plumber' an out-of-touch gun 'extremist,' says Sandy Hook principal's daughter

    'I’m sorry my loss inconveniences you, Joe,' writes daughter of fallen school chief

    Joe Wurzelbacher, also known as Joe the Plumber, stands onstage at a campaign rally with U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain in Mentor, Ohio in this file photo taken October 30, 2008. Wurzelbacher, a conservative, announced on Sunday that he recently had the fortune of being hired by a great company, Chrysler Corporation, where all workers must be United Automobile Workers union members. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)Joe Wurzelbacher, also known as Joe the Plumber, stands onstage at a campaign rally with U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain in Mentor, Ohio in this file photo taken October 30, 2008. Wurzelbacher, a conservative, announced on Sunday that he recently had the fortune of being hired by a great company, Chrysler Corporation, where all workers must be United Automobile Workers union members. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT)

    In a column she wrote for the Daily Beast, Erica Lafferty, who lost her mother in the Newtown, Connecticut, school shootings in 2012, ridicules as "disgusting" recent comments Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher made about the Santa Barbara shootings.

    Wurzelbacher, who became something of a celebrity during the 2008 presidential campaign after a debate between President Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain, recently wrote an open letter to the parents of the University of California, Santa Barbara, college students who were killed earlier this month.

    "As harsh as this sounds — your dead kids don't trump my Constitutional rights," Wurzelbacher wrote on BarbWire.com.

    Erica Lafferty, daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim, Dawn Hochsprung, right, consoles Carlee Soto, sister of victim Victoria Soto after families representing fourteen families addressed the media, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, in Newtown, Conn. Newtown is not hosting formal events to mark the anniversary Saturday. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)Erica Lafferty, daughter of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim, Dawn Hochsprung, right, consoles Carlee Soto, sister of victim Victoria Soto after families representing fourteen families addressed the media, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013, in Newtown, Conn. Newtown is not hosting formal events to mark the anniversary Saturday. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

    Lafferty, whose mother, Dawn Hochsprung, was the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary and one of 27 victims of the massacre, responded, "I’m sorry my loss inconveniences you, Joe. But you’re the one who’s out of touch."

    Wurzelbacher's comments, Lafferty wrote, "encapsulate the id of the small faction of extremists who are

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  • 'Comrade Kitty' stands at attention for Russian national anthem

    Just as is the case in America, most countries that have a national anthem consider standing during its performance to be a sign of patriotism and respect. And this cat, who apparently hails from Russia, knows it.

    In a short video that's quickly going viral, a man plays the Russian national anthem on his cellphone. Upon hearing the familiar tune, the cat — identified as Margot in a YouTube description — stands at attention on her hind legs with a look that says, "glory to Mother Russia."

    Yes, the cat's posture could use a bit of improvement (move those shoulders back, kitty), but on the whole we think Ivan Drago would approve.

    Viewers were clearly impressed. One commenter wrote, "I didnt even know they could do that." Another posted, "this may be the coolest thing ive ever seen AND IM NOT EVEN RUSSIAN!"

    The video was uploaded this week. It is unclear when it was originally filmed.

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  • Cracks appear in Willis Tower's Skydeck

    Tower spokesman says there is no danger

    We're guessing the four-letter words were coming fast and furious from atop Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) on Wednesday afternoon.

    A group of tourists checking out the Skydeck on the 103rd floor of the Chicago skyscraper received the shock of a lifetime when the glass pane they were standing on began to crack, NBC Chicago reports.

    The photo of the cracked glass, taken by Alejandro Garibay, quickly went viral. Nobody was hurt.

    Garibay told NBC Chicago that after the protective layer began to crack, he alerted staffers. "When we pulled our phones to start recording and take pictures, they asked us to leave right away," he said.

    Tourists who go to the very top of the skyscraper are given the opportunity to step out onto "the Ledge," a series of glass boxes made of three layers of glass built to hold five tons, and then look straight down on the Windy City.

    Willis Tower spokesperson Randy Stancik told DNAinfo Chicago that the tourists were never in any real danger.

    Another

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  • Three years after Japan tsunami, suspected bits of debris arrive on Washington shores

    In March 2011, an undersea earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan and resulted in more than 15,000 deaths. Three years later, the disaster's aftermath is still being felt in ways large and small, far and wide.

    On a beach in southern Washington, approximately 4,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean, debris that may be from the tsunami is washing ashore, KING-5 in Seattle reports.

    Experts have yet to confirm that the debris, which includes small fishing boats, foam blocks, and water bottles,  is all a direct result of the tsunami. However, George Hill, a tow-truck driver who spoke with KING-5, said that many of the water bottles and assorted items of trash appear to have originated in Japan.

    Hill, who hauls away the large pieces of debris, told KING-5 there are portions of the beach that look like a dump truck just emptied a huge pile of trash.

    Washington state has been keeping track of the debris that is confirmed to be from the tsunami. Items include boats, portions of docks, and

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  • Firefighters' groceries paid for by anonymous 'Air Force wife'

    Note left on the receipt read, "Firefighters - Thanks for being there for us! Have a good weekend"

    A group of firefighters in Vacaville, Calif., were treated to a nice surprise this weekend when they discovered that an anonymous woman had paid for their groceries.

    While standing in line at a Costco store, the firefighters, who were wearing camouflage T-shirts in honor of Memorial Day, received an emergency call. When they returned to the store, they discovered that somebody had picked up the tab on their food, CBS Sacramento reports.

    The kind-hearted woman didn't give her name, but she did leave a note on the $123 receipt that read, “Firefighters - Thanks for being there for us! Have a good weekend." She had signed it: "Air Force wife."

    The firefighters didn't have a way to thank the woman, so they posted a note of appreciation on their department's Facebook page. They're also making an effort to pay it forward, according to CBS Sacramento.

    “Later that day [Sunday] the crew was at Lucky’s,” Battalion Chief Jeff Ryder said. “There was an older couple behind them buying flowers [that]

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  • Days Inn honors 'all who have served hot breakfast'

    When Memorial Day billboards go wrong ...

    The period has a big job to do, and yet nobody really notices it until it's gone.

    And then everybody notices.

    Case in point: a Days Inn billboard this past weekend. As reported in Chicago, the budget hotel posted a message in honor of Memorial Day. At least that's what we think they meant to do. The hotel also wanted to alert passing motorists that guests received a hot breakfast with their stay.

    Those are two very separate thoughts in dire need of a period. Unfortunately, there was none to be found on the billboard, leaving the sign to read, "We remember all those who served hot breakfast."

    Cue the earnest salutes.

    The snafu was picked up by Twitter, with several messages jokingly calling out the hotel chain on their delicious typo. 

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  • Fisherman captures spooky footage of fog bank on Lake Michigan

    When Andrew Ballard shot this footage while fishing with his father on Lake Michigan, the looming fog bank could almost have been mistaken for an iceberg or the "wall" from "Game of Thrones."

    In his stunning clip, the massive fog edges closer and closer until it nearly envelopes the small boat.  Ballard told Storyful that he and his dad saw the fog in the distance and decided to stick around to check out the weather phenomenon — "advection fog" — up close.

    Ballard told the Detroit News that the wind picked up to about 20 mph once they were inside the fog bank. "The waves got bigger and the temperature really dropped. Visibility dropped to about 30 feet, and you lost direction.”

    Advection fog occurs when moist and warm air slides atop cold land or water, according to the Weather Channel. Meterologist Deb Elliott told the Detroit News the fog can be "very thick and extensive; if they were swallowed up in it, the ir visibility could drop to almost zero.”

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  • Man wears sandwich board in hopes of helping his mom get new kidney

    Geoffrey Dinoso, 22, is placing his hopes and the health of his mother in the hands of strangers.

    Somewhere out there, Dinoso hopes, someone may be willing to donate a kidney to his mom, Maria, who was diagnosed with renal failure two years ago.

    To get the word out, he is wearing a sandwich board and standing along busy roads in Vacaville, Calif. In bold black letters, the board reads, "Mom Needs Kidney," followed by his phone number.

    Yahoo News spoke with Dinoso, a full-time student who is hoping to get a job as an X-ray technician, about his mission. Although his quest is just getting underway, he says he's off to a good start.

    Since he started wearing the board on Thursday, Dinoso said he's received "tons of texts and phone calls." The majority, he says, are from people who are eager to learn more about what it would take to donate a kidney. "They're asking me how they will find out if they're compatible or not."

    Dinoso said he asks all interested callers to contact the University

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  • How this man became immortalized in a $22.5M Norman Rockwell painting

    Sherman Safford spoke about posing for the iconic painting

    You probably wouldn't recognize him if you passed him on the street, but Sherman Safford is a work of art. As an 18-year-old, he modeled for one of the most famous paintings of the 20th century — "The Rookie" by Norman Rockwell.

    Safford, now considerably older than he was when he posed for the painting in 1957, spoke with Lee Cowan of CBS News about working with the iconic American painter and how he happened to be chosen.

    The painting features a collection of veteran Boston Red Sox players hanging out in their locker room as a rookie with a naive smile approaches. Safford played the gangly greenhorn and told CBS News that he was recruited for the painting while standing in line at his high school cafeteria.

    Safford said he spotted a pipe-smoking Rockwell sitting at a nearby table.

    "I knew he had to be somebody; nobody smoked in that building," Safford joked.

    Rockwell ending up paying Safford $120 to pose for the painting, which wound up on the cover of a 1957 edition of the Saturday

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