Blog Posts by Mike Krumboltz, Yahoo News

  • Footage captures chaos, danger of San Diego wildfires

    The raging wildfires in Southern California have forced hundreds of residents in San Diego County to leave their homes.

    One of them, Jeb Durgin of Carlsbad, Calif., uploaded a video shot by his co-worker, Byron Bauman, showing a chaotic scene that resembled something out of a video game: windswept flames racing along a road; fire and smoke turning the sky blood orange; people frantically fleeing in cars and RVs; a helicopter dropping flame retardant over a row of hillside homes.

    "I drove through the flames," Durgin told Yahoo News. "If there were police officers, if there were fire trucks, there's no way in hell they would have let us drive through that, but there was nobody stopping us."

    Durgin said he and his co-workers were able to get to safety but not before navigating the inferno. This footage was shot Wednesday morning at about 10 a.m. along El Camino Real, where at least 30 homes were destroyed by the fires, officials say.

    "We were one of the first ones on scene. Not a lot of

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  • Man saves 3 girls trapped in runaway car

    To say things could have been a lot worse is an understatement.

    David Cincotta was going about his business at a gas station in North Babylon, N.Y., last month when he noticed something troubling: a car rolling backward.

    Cincotta, 43, ran after the car, managed to get inside, and put on the brakes before the vehicle could roll onto the street and into oncoming traffic, all of which was caught on tape by a security camera.

    Cincotta, a father of six, spoke to WABC in New York about hearing the screams of the kids and giving chase. "I didn't even think," he said. "It was just 'Go.'"

    What make's Cincotta's heroics even more impressive is his medical condition: Cincotta can't run.

    "I have neuropathy up through my hips from diabetes, so I trip a lot, just walking," Cincotta said. "So for me to run, any of my friends who saw the video were like, 'I never seen you run like that.' Me, neither."

    Gas station worker Naqqash Chaudhry told WABC, "I have no doubt in my mind that car would have been

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  • So that's why it was so lumpy: College students find $40,000 in their couch

    After fantasies about ultimate road trips, the three return the cash to 91-year-old widow

    Talk about a good deal!

    Three college students from SUNY New Paltz in New York found $40,000 in cash hidden inside the cushions of the couch they had purchased for $20 at their local Salvation Army outlet, WABC reports

    "We almost didn’t pick that couch,” Lara Russo told TheLittleRebellion.com, which broke the story. “It’s pretty ugly and smells, but it was the only couch that fit the right dimensions for our living room.”

    The oddly uncomfortable couch had been sitting in the students' apartment for a few months until one day, Reese Werkhoven noticed a zipper on the bottom of the cushion. Inside, he found an envelope full of hundred- and 50-dollar bills.

    "So we pulled it out of the couch. And we're freaking out, we're shaking," Werkhoven told WABC.

    "The most money I’d ever found in a couch was like 50 cents. Honestly, I’d be ecstatic to find just $5 in a couch," Werkhoven told TheLittleRebellion.com.

    The first envelope contained about $4,000. But the cash kept on coming. Werkhoven

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  • Staten Island woman does whatever she can to help children in need

    She doesn't always know who the children are, but that doesn't stop Elissa Montanti from doing all she can to find and help them.

    The selfless Staten Island woman has helped 170 children who have suffered from devastating injuries in places as far away as Bosnia and the Philippines. Her story was recently profiled by CBS News.

    Montanti is the founder of the Global Medical Relief Fund, an organization that helps children who have been victimized by war or natural disasters. She recently assisted Aldrin Tadic, a 6-year-old boy who lost a leg in Typhoon Haiyan, which claimed the lives of thousands of people in November 2013.

    Montanti told CBS News that she saw Aldrin's photo online during a search for children who had been injured in the typhoon. She said she didn't know his name or anything about him. Still, the photo touched her and she was determined to help.

    Montanti shared the photo online and asked for any assistance in tracking down the boy. Speaking to CBS News about the quest,

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  • Rolex wristwatch sells for staggering $1.2M at auction

    Time to get out the checkbook!

    A rare Rolex watch sold for a whopping $1.2 million at auction this week, making it the most expensive Rolex wristwatch to ever be sold under the gavel, NBC News reports.

    The sale of the watch, a 1949 Oyster Perpetual model with a cloisonne enamel dial, had been expected to go for as low as $570,000

    The watch, sold by Christie's auction house in Geneva, was designed by artist Marguerite Koch and features a ship sailing on rough seas on the dial. At a cost of $1.2 million, the anonymous buyer might want to consider investing in a Swatch guard (remember those?).

    The blog Classic Diver reported that the record-setting Rolex had been "hidden away" for several years.

    All told the Christie's watch sale resulted in $26.5 million in sales, including a snazzy Patek Phillippe from the early 1900s that sold for over $1.34 million, NBC News reports.

    For those who like the idea of wearing a watch that's worth an obscene amount of money but can't exactly scrape

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  • 8-year-old Florida girl helps mom deliver healthy baby brother

    "I was freaking out," mom said.

    If this kid doesn't grow up be an obstetrician, we'll be shocked.

    Jazmine McEnaney, 8, helped her mother, Krystle Garcia, deliver her baby brother when the little guy decided to make his big debut two weeks ahead of schedule, ABCActionNews.com reported.

    With her mom screaming in pain in the next room, Jazmine called 911 to get some coaching on how to best help deliver baby Joseph safely.

    Jazmine remained remarkably calm over the phone. At one point, the 911 operator asked Jazmine to ask her mother if she was pushing or straining.

    Jazmine relayed the (perhaps obvious) question, to which Garcia responded, "Yes! Yes!"

    Garcia told ABCActionNews.com she was in her bathroom when her water broke. "I was freaking out," she said. "I was like, I am home alone with my 8-year-old daughter. What am I going to do, you know? Even if I call somebody, they're not going to come quick enough because it happened so fast."

    Fast is right. A mere 13 minutes after the 911 call, before paramedics could arrive,

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  • Stephen Colbert skewers Fox News's Monica Lewinsky conspiracy theories

    "Folks, Hillary was behind this article just as surely as she was behind the woman who threw a shoe at her last month"

    That's the thing about conspiracy theories  they always involve the people you least expect.

    Take the hubbub surrounding Monica Lewinsky's recent cover story for Vanity Fair.

    In the piece, which is the first time Lewinsky has personally addressed the late-1990s scandal involving President Bill Clinton, the former intern wrote that she "deeply" regretted the affair, the scandal has cost her numerous professional opportunities in life, and she wants nothing more than to move on.

    This wasn't a good enough excuse for coming forward to some Fox News personalities, and satirical TV host Stephen Colbert skewered would-be conspiracy theorists with his segment, "Stephen Colbert's Bats**t Serious."

    According to Fox News, Lewinsky and Hillary Clinton are in cahoots regarding the article's timing. But how could a high-profile article about the affair between the former White House intern and President Clinton possibly benefit Hillary, who may be planning a 2016 presidential run?

    Colbert jokingly

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  • Tree falls on SUV during traffic stop, no major injuries

    'I was picking tree bark out of my hair, it was in my ears. It just kind of exploded tree crumbs everywhere'

    A relatively routine traffic stop in Centerville, Iowa, nearly ended in tragedy when a tree — for no apparent reason — keeled over and fell atop an SUV that a police officer had pulled over.

    The incident was captured by the police cruiser's dashcam. In the footage, Officer Jeremy Veach can be seen calmly issuing a ticket to a driver who had neglected to turn her headlights on.

    But then, cue nature's fury. The oak tree falls, the officer ducks, and much of the SUV is crushed.

    Veach suffered relatively minor injuries but compared the encounter to being swatted with a giant fly swatter, according to a report from KCCI.com. The driver escaped the bizarre encounter unscathed. Her car, not so much.

    And give credit to Veach. Most people would be curled up in a fetal position after being nearly hammered into the ground. Veach stays calm, limps away like he's Stallone and it's just another day at the office.

    Veach told KCCI that he did notice the cracking of wood just before the oak tree

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  • Giant boulder nearly collides with Massachusetts church

    "The Lord just kinda said, 'That's enough,'" pastor says

    A massive runaway boulder that stopped within inches of a Massachusetts church has a pastor wondering if divine intervention may have played a part in saving the house of worship.

    "If it rolled another 12 inches, it would have gone right through the building. This boulder was probably 20 tons," Grace Ministries Pastor Rick LeClair told WCVB.com.

    The boulder was accidentally jarred loose by an excavation company working in an adjacent lot. Footage of the incident plays like a slow-motion action movie. All that's missing is a guy dressed like Indiana Jones running for dear life.

    As the boulder rolls toward the church, someone behind the camera can be heard to deadpan, "That's not good."

    And indeed, it didn't look good. The boulder rolls, rolls, rolls until it finally loses momentum before it gets to the church.

    "We were standing across the street saying, 'Uh-oh. There it goes,'" LeClair told WCVB. "I was thinking the church was going to get wrecked, but I had this peace about me where it

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  • Photo of 'firenado' sets the Web ablaze

    The photo is real, and the weather phenomenon, while rare, is not unheard-of

    An incredible image of a "firenado," a combination of (you guessed it) a fire and a tornado, appeared on the Web this week and quickly inspired many to wonder if the otherworldly image could possibly be real.

    It is indeed. The photo was taken near Chillicothe, Mo., by Janae Copelin and then posted to her Instagram account.

    She wrote, "Had such a wonderful weekend, but this had to be the coolest/scariest thing I've ever seen. A farmer burning off his field and as we stopped so I could take a picture the wind whipped up this fire twister."

    There were no reported injuries.

    Firenados can occur when strong ground-level winds connect with fire, propelling the flames into a twisting vortex that sucks in debris, accuweather.com explains.

    While unusual, firenados aren't unheard of. Back in 2012, Chris Tangey, an Australian filmmaker, captured footage of a firenado while scouting locations. He then shared the clips with ABC News. Tangey remarked that it sounded like a "jet engine."

    Follow Mike

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