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Peter Dazeley/Getty Images(DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga.) -- A Georgia familysays that the movers they hired to ship their possessions on Friday disappeared, taking with them nearly everything they own.

“We built a life here, memories. We have items that are irreplaceable on that truck,” the homeowner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told ABC News affiliate WSB-TV.

Lieutenant Glenn Daniel of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to ABC News that they are investigating the incident as a theft, and said that Atlanta police recovered the U-Haul in a Southwest Atlanta neighborhood a few hours after it was reported missing, only to find a barren truck.

“They showed up and loaded the furnishings onto the truck and told the victims they’d meet them at their new residence,” Daniel told ABC News. “But then they never showed up.”

The victims say that their missing belongings are valued at approximately $75,000. The only items to have been recovered so far are “personal items,” which were found in a box.

“If I don’t get anything back, I want that box, because it has all of our social security, birth certificates in it. It has death records from my mom and son,” the homeowner said. “Of course, I had iPads and phones that were gone, but all the birth certificates, and all the records that I really needed were in that box, including my Bible, thank God.”

The family hired the moving company through Craigslist, according to Daniel. Craigslist did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Scott Michael, president and CEO of the American Moving & Storage Association, told ABC News, “It’s important to not to believe everything you see on the Internet." He advised that movers do research before hiring a company, "especially since you’re hiring someone to take all your worldly possessions across town or cross country."

"You should get at least three, free written estimates," he said. "Avoid any that are too high or too low. Show the movers everything that needs to be moved, from the attic to the basement, and including any sheds, garages and storage areas. Stay away from any companies that require a large deposit or payment up front. Choose a mover with a physical location near you, and consider visiting their facility. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something."

He added: "A reputable mover will want to make sure you get all the answers you need. Read all documents carefully, make sure you get a copy of everything you sign, and never sign any blank forms. Keep all personal papers, including birth certificates, with you, as well as your phone."

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iStock/Thinkstock(KATY, Texas) — Texas law enforcement officials say an active shooter situation at a trucking company outside of Houston is now under control.

Police responded Wednesday morning to a call at Knight Transportation in Katy, Texas, where a former employee reportedly took his own life and wounded two others. Officials say the gunman had been fired two weeks prior to Wednesday's incident, despite the sheriff's statement that he was fired Wednesday morning.

“It appears it may have been a disgruntled employee that was terminated earlier today,” Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said Wednesday morning. “Preliminary reports are that we have one employee who was shot and one who is wounded. The shooter, I believe has taken his own life.”

Police later said two other employees were injured from shrapnel or debris as a result of the shooting.

Police have not released the names of the gunman or the victims.

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iStock/Thinkstock(BUFFALO, N.Y.) -- Two North American river otter pups at the Buffalo Zoo in New York have been named Luke and Leia to celebrate "Star Wars Day," the zoo announced Wednesday.

On "behalf of the otter pups, the Zoo would like to say, 'May the 4th be with you,'" the zoo told ABC News in a news release.

Luke and Leia were born earlier this year on Feb. 28, the zoo said. Their mother is an 11-year-old river otter named Ellie, and their father is a 9-year-old river otter named Rascal, the zoo added.

"Since their birth two months ago, Ellie has once again demonstrated attentive maternal care, including teaching them to swim in an inside pool adjacent to their den," the zoo said. "Based on positive observations, Zoo staff is pleased to report that the public may get a glimpse of the pups in Otter Creek between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. daily, weather-dependent."

According to the zoo, conservation efforts in the 1990s "have brought the North American river otter population to a stable status in the wild, after being on the verge of extinction."

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Design Pics/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — This week, women are turning their girls' nights out into chances to help families in need by building them homes.

Good Morning America correspondent Abbie Boudreau recently joined more than 100 women in San Diego to kick off a 10-city “Girls' Night Out” tour in which women grabbed hammers and tools to build homes for those in need.

The tour is part of National Women Build Week, a partnership between Habitat for Humanity and Lowe’s, a GMA sponsor.

"It's a special night because you have women who are empowered to build,” said Lori Pfeiler, the president of San Diego Habitat for Humanity.

The San Diego “Girls' Night Out” event saw the women start a frame for a two-story home for a local veteran and learn construction lessons like what size hammer to use and how to get the perfect cut when sawing.

For Brittney Anthony, a single mom of four boys, living in a cramped three-bedroom apartment in Indianapolis led her to dream of owning her own home with more space.

Anthony is now watching her dream turn into a reality thanks to Habitat for Humanity, which is building Anthony a five-bedroom home with a yard for her boys to play in.

“I'm just filled with so much joy,” said Anthony, one of 1,000 families that will receive a Habitat for Humanity home this year.

Anthony’s home began to take shape with the help of 60 volunteers giving four hours of their time.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Anthony said of the effort. “It just means the world to me and my boys and to support this dream of mine."

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(FLINT, Mich.) — The 8-year-old girl who received a letter from President Obama after writing to him about Flint, Michigan, will get a chance to meet the commander-in-chief Wednesday.

"Little Miss Flint" Mari Copeny wrote to the president before she traveled 12 hours by bus with a group of more than 200 Flint residents to a congressional hearing on the Flint water crisis. In the letter, Mari described herself as "one of the children [affected]" by Flint's lead-filled water and stressed that meeting him or the first lady "would really lift people's spirits."

The letter inspired the president to send Flint's mini-ambassador a letter of his own.

"You're right that Presidents are often busy, but the truth is, in America, there is no more important title than citizen," Obama wrote.

Before the trip to Washington, D.C., Mari was keen on meeting the president to tell him everything she's been doing to raise awareness for Flint, her mother, Lulu Brezzell, told ABC News.

Obama wrote in his letter to Mari that he wanted her to be the "first to know" about his upcoming trip to Flint. "Like you, I'll use my voice to call for change and help lift up your community," the president wrote.

The meeting will take place Wednesday afternoon at Northwestern High School, where Obama will deliver remarks to a crowd of about 1,000 people, the White House told ABC News.

"In the end, it was my 8-year-old who convinced him that maybe it was time to come," Brezzell said, describing her daughter as a "force of nature" who "loves to use her voice"

Mari told ABC News that meeting the president will be better than her birthday and Christmas and is the "most exciting thing to happen" to her.

"People need him to give us hope," she said of Obama, adding that the first thing she'll do is "give him a big hug."

Mari received the title "Little Miss Flint" last spring after winning a local pageant, Brezzell said. Although her reign is almost over, another pageant system has offered to let her keep the title for another year because of all the awareness she's raised with it, Brezzell added.

The pageant winner says her dream is to become "Miss America" and then become a police officer after that. She's been active in the efforts to help Flint, her mother said, participating in rallies and protests to raise awareness.

In addition, Mari said education is an important issue to her. She enjoys cheerleading, gymnastics, tap dancing, singing and playing the violin, she said, and plans to "keep on helping" her fellow Flint residents.

"Cause I'm a kid that cares," Mari said. "We do not drink [the water] 'cause it's poison."

Brezzell said her family is not able to cook or bathe with the water that comes out of their faucet, saying they get rashes similar to chemical burns when it touches their skin. The mother of three called Flint's water crisis "heartbreaking" and "avoidable."

Mari's final message: "Don't forget Flint."

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has called on Obama to drink the water in Flint during his visit.

“We are hopeful the president will drink the water in Flint, to help reinforce Gov. Snyder’s actions and the EPA’s message that filtered Flint water is safe to drink,” Snyder spokeswoman Anna Heaton said in a statement to ABC.

Despite the Environmental Protection Agency's assessment that filtered water is safe to drink, Flint residents continue to drink only bottled water, Heaton said. Last month, Snyder vowed to drink Flint's water for at least 30 days.

In January, Obama addressed the water crisis in a visit to Detroit, saying he would be "beside" himself if his kids' health could be at risk. He declared a national emergency in Flint, directing funds to assist in relief efforts, following a request from Gov. Snyder.

It is unclear if the governor will meet will meet with the president during his visit. Snyder is not currently scheduled to be in Flint, according to his office.

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Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage via GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- Good Morning America received unprecedented access to the historic Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, the oldest in the country, celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Correspondent Jesse Palmer, along with our “GMA” television crew, is the first ever inside this national security nerve center, the Air Force surveillance operations where men and women keep watch over extensive drone surveillance of the Middle East every day.

“We’re looking at 560 hours of video, pieces of intelligence information to go to the war fighter, the president,” an officer explained to Palmer while showing him around the base.

After witnessing the critical work being done on the ground, it was time to see what the Air Force can do in the sky. But, first, Palmer had to get proper training.

He geared up to get down to business in true “Top Gun” style with Capt. Michael “Jigga” Watts.

“This is the real thing now,” Palmer said as he sat in the jet before takeoff. “The heart is starting to race.”

Then it was liftoff, where Palmer was taken aback by doing three of the iconic 360-degree aileron rolls in a row, with top speeds of 7.7 Gs.

“That is like being on the craziest roller coaster,” Palmer said.

But once back on the ground, Palmer had a huge “Captain America” superhero surprise for the brave men and women on the base. Anthony Mackie, who plays Falcon in "Captain America: Civil War,” surprised the unsuspecting airmen and airwomen.

The crowd roared, jumping up and down and high-fiving Mackie as he ran down the line where they were standing.

“Airmen and women, yes!” he shouted.

Mackie, a former U.S. Air Force pararescueman himself, wanted to do something special for the Air Force so he joined Palmer at Langley Air Force Base. He, too, has flown in F16s and said it was “the scariest experience of my life.”

“I didn’t fly on the F22 which is by far the more superior plane,” Mackie added, while telling Palmer that he beat his flight’s speed on the F16. “I pulled 10 Gs. I broke the sound barrier.”

Mackie also explained why he is thrilled for fans to see the highly anticipated new “Captain America” film.

“Playing a character that’s an airmen, I think it’s great for people to see the camaraderie, the brotherhood of the U.S. military,” he explained. “When you have a common understanding of the experience and things like that, you appreciate each other.

“If you look at ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier,’ I was an airman in that movie, and then because HYDRA infiltration the S.H.I.E.L.D. I kind of lose my appreciation for government office,” he added. “When in this movie it comes up, do you side with the government or do you side with civil liberties? I side with civil liberties because we don’t know what their hidden agenda is.”

Mackie, 37, also had one more surprise up his sleeve for the men and women on base.

“Being a fellow airmen, you guys are more brave than I am because you’re airmen and women for real. We have a screening for you guys of “Captain America: Civil War” and I’m excited that you guys get to see it.”

They will get to attend a private screening of the film with Mackie today before it hits theaters nationwide Friday.

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iStock/Thinkstock(TRENTON, N.J.) — With President Obama scheduled to tour Flint, Michigan, Wednesday, concerns about water safety have been elevated to the national stage once again, leading many to speculate whether another water crisis is looming for more American cities.

One example is in New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie ordered mandatory lead testing for all of the state’s public schools on Monday.

Elevated levels of lead found in Newark Public Schools in March created panic among residents. In the city of Camden, students and public school staff have been drinking bottled water since 2002 due to deterioration of piping found in the buildings, many of which were constructed nearly a century ago.

Nearly 50 percent of the residents in Newark and Camden are black, according to recent census data, similar to the demographics of Flint. A 2012 report published by a group of international water policy experts determined that African-American residents were nearly twice as likely to live in buildings with inadequate plumbing as whites.

The tests announced by Christie will impact approximately 3,000 public schools. The governor hopes to reduce the level of lead in a child's blood from 10 micrograms per deciliter to five, meeting standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012. The CDC says a level of 5 micrograms per deciliter is used to identify children with high levels of lead in their blood.

Funding for the tests, which will cost an estimated $10 million, will not come easily for the cash-strapped state, whose debt reached $170 million in 2015, according to Truth in Accounting, a watchdog group.

Improving New Jersey’s water supply has been a concern for Christie long before Flint Mayor Karen Weaver declared a state of emergency in December of last year.

Christie signed the Water Infrastructure Protection Act in February of 2015, a bill designed to fast-track the privatization of the state’s public water systems. Proponents argue that the legislation would spur investment in the state’s crumbling infrastructure, but environmentalists strongly oppose it, arguing that it turns a necessity into a profit-making resource for corporations without necessarily solving the problem at hand.

“What consumer protection groups find is that turning over water systems to private industry often increases the cost for residents without guaranteeing the safety that lawmakers like Christie say they want,” said Andrea Muehlebach, an associate professor at the University of Toronto who specializes in water systems.

New Jersey residents are not alone in their struggles with infrastructure. An investigative report published this March in USA Today found potentially hazardous lead levels in close to 2,000 water systems across the county.

Obama’s visit to Flint, which was prompted by a letter he received from Mari Copeny, an 8-year-old Flint resident requesting to meet with him, gives the president the opportunity to draw attention to the severity of the crisis.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will greet Obama at the airport in Flint, a spokesman for Snyder confirmed to ABC News.

The spokesman also said the governor will participate in the president’s briefing with federal officials on the Flint water crisis. In April, two state regulators and one city employee were charged with misconduct, tampering and other offenses in relation to Flint's water crisis.

It was unclear if Obama would drink filtered water during his stay.

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iStock/Thinkstock(FLINT, Mich.) --  The city of Flint is in crisis.

For more than a year, the water flowing through the pipes under the city of Flint, Michigan, was coming from the Flint River. The corrosive water was not treated properly to prevent the decades-old pipes from corroding and leaching lead into the city's water supply.

This water made its way into homes, hospitals and schools. Nearly 100,000 residents have been affected.

Residents Jacob Uherek, Jamila Marshall and their children cannot safely drink or use the water coming out of their faucets. They must rely on bottled water for drinking, bathing and cooking.

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New Mexico State Police(SHIPROCK, N.M.) -- A 27-year-old man has been arrested in the abduction and death of an 11-year-old girl believed to have been kidnapped from the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, the FBI announced Tuesday evening.

The Albuquerque office of the FBI tweeted its arrest of Tom Begaye, 27, of Waterflow, New Mexico, for the "abduction and death" of Ashlynne Mike, who went missing Monday and was found dead Tuesday.

Begaye is slated to appear in court Wednesday, according to the FBI's tweet. It was unknown if he had a lawyer yet.


#FBI announces Tom Begaye, 27, of Waterflow, N.M., arrested in abduction and death of 11-year-old Ashlynne Mike. Court appearance tomorrow.

— FBI Albuquerque (@FBIAlbuquerque) May 4, 2016


Ashlynne Mike was last seen Monday around 4 p.m., according to a press release from New Mexico State Police. "An unknown Native American male is believed to have abducted Ashlynn[e]," read the press release. "[The] abductor was last seen in the area of Navajo Route 36 Mile Post 13 at 4 p.m."

Her parents filed a police report Monday night after Ashlynne and her 9-year-old brother, Ian, went missing, Najavo Nation Public Information Officer Mihio Manus said.

Shortly after the report was filed, a motorist picked up Ian as he walked along the highway and took him to the Shiprock Police Department. Ian told police that a man had taken them toward the Shiprock Pinnacle, but he let Ian out when he came upon a dead end, Manus said. The man then continued on with Ashlynne.

The man later returned without Ashlynne and told Ian to "go home," Manus said.

Ashlynne's body was found Tuesday in Shiprock, according to FBI Public Affairs Specialist Frank Fisher.

The FBI described the man suspected of abducting her as a light-skinned Navajo man in his 20s or 30s with short, dark hair. The man has a tear-drop tattoo under his left eye, according to the FBI, and was last seen wearing earrings in both ears, a long, silver chain necklace, gold watch, with a black shirt and blue pants.

The vehicle used in the alleged abduction was a maroon minivan with sliding doors with a luggage rack on the top and no hub caps on the wheels, the FBI said.

“We want to reassure the family that the Navajo Nation Police are conducting a thorough investigation in this case and will be working with the FBI to apprehend the abductor and bring him to justice,” said Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye.

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Stockbyte/Thinkstock(FLINT, Mich.) — The streets of Flint, Michigan will soon be patrolled by a mother and son duo, who were recently sworn-in together as members of the Flint Police Department.

Soon after Maria Reed, 39, first applied to the police academy at Mott Community College, in Fenton, Michigan, her son, Dion, 20, followed.

The pair went through all 16 weeks of the training in tandem. The academy’s training coordinator told ABC News it was the first time he’s seen a parent and child complete the program together.

“I’ve been doing police academies for 27 years and have never even heard of it,” said Sgt. Dunnell Chaney of the Law Enforcement Regional Training Academy. “I’ve seen brothers but never a parent and a child.”

The pair graduated last Thursday, according to Chaney. Dion said he took some ribbing from his classmates while at the academy with his mom.

“They make a lot a jokes, like the only reason I'm at the academy is because she can't find a babysitter," Dion told ABC affiliate WJRT-TV in Flint, Michigan.

Maria and Dion were two of the seven new officers sworn in to the Flint Police Department on Monday morning. They will join the 107-member strong police force for the Michigan city.

"This is the first I’m aware of a parent and child being sworn in together," Flint Police Capt. Leigh Golden told ABC News. "It is pretty unique."

The mother and son are in training this week and could not be reached by ABC News. They will start "working the road" next week, according to Golden.

Maria will have her first full shift as a uniformed Flint officer on Mother’s Day. When she is on the job though, she says she will just be Officer Reed. She told WJRT-TV, “I can't be a mom when I am out there doing my job."

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WABC-TV(SYOSSET, N.Y.) -- A pilot and two passengers are dead after a small plane en route from South Carolina to Connecticut crashed on Long Island, New York, officials say.

According to Nassau County Police, the plane came down in the hamlet of Syosset at 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

Initially, police said it suffered an “an unknown problem." But at an NTSB briefing this evening, senior NTSB air safety investigator Robert Gretz said that the pilot of the aircraft made a distress call prior to the crash, reporting an issue with the plane’s instrumentation panel -- possibly the loss of the panel.

Gretz says the plane broke up before reaching the ground and the debris field spans about 2 miles.

He added that at this time there is no indication that the plane ran out of gas. The NTSB's investigation continues.

Despite the large debris field, which is near several schools, there were no injuries on the ground.

Most of the children had already been dismissed, but the superintendent told ABC News he will keep the remaining students at South Woods Middle School, Berry Hill Elementary and Syosset High School in their respective buildings for the time being.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the Beech BE35 aircraft crashed on Cold Spring Road in Syosset as it was heading to Robertson Field in Plainville, Connecticut, from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

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iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- Detroit teachers are taking to the streets instead of classrooms for the second day of a "sick out" rally in a fight for paychecks.

Kendra Lincourt, an art teacher who has worked at Detroit Public Schools for 17 years, participated in the rallies, both on Monday and Tuesday.

"People need to realize that teachers are not going to work without being paid," Lincourt told ABC News Tuesday. "I love my job. I want to continue to do my job, but I'm not going to do it for free. I have a family I need to support."

Lincourt said her husband is also a teacher but not with Detroit public schools.

"We're not trying to be selfish by any means," she said. "It's our passion, but it's also our job, it's how we live. We're not asking for anything that we don't deserve."

On Tuesday, 94 of 97 schools in the Detroit Public School district were closed, impacting 45,726 students, according to school officials.

A spokeswoman for the district said the three remaining schools had enough teachers report to work. The district closed schools where 40 percent or more of the teaching staff called in sick, the spokeswoman said.

Monday's "sick out" also closed 94 schools, impacting 45,628 students. The sick out is ongoing "because we still don't have assurance that we're going to be paid," Detroit Federation of Teachers interim President Ivy Bailey told ABC News Tuesday.

"We were hoping yesterday would be the last day," Bailey said, adding that teachers were telling her they miss their students.

Lincourt said it's unfortunate that the school closures are causing last-minute child care problems for parents.

"We do feel for the parents," she said. "At our school we're fortunate that we have a lot of parental support. They understand that nobody is going to work without being paid"

And as for her own three daughters, who attend the school where she teachers, they went along to the rallies, Lincourt said. While her children are missing class time, Lincourt said the rallies provided "amazing connections." She said one daughter, a 4th-grader, likened marching down the middle of a Detroit road to her studies about Martin Luther King.

When the "sick out" began Monday, Bailey explained to ABC News the reason behind it. Because teachers do not get paid during the summer, some teachers are on 26 pay periods. "They take their salary and they pro-rate it throughout the year [with] additional pay periods in the summer, so they can get paid over the summer," she said.

She explained that the state gave the district $48.7 million to get through the rest of the school year but that did not include money to cover summer payments.

"When we figured out what was going on and looked at the payments of those teachers, technically Thursday of last week is the last day that they're actually being paid," Bailey said.

"In theory, they're working without pay," she said. "There's no guarantee -- based on what the district has told us -- that they will receive payment after June 30, which is not fair. No one should work for free."

In Detroit, where the economy has been struggling for years, schools are currently under a state of financial emergency and are run by an emergency manager instead of a school board and superintendent.

"If you are an emergency manager and you're supposed to be the person who came here to straighten out our finances, and now they're worse than they ever were ... I believe we have every right to be upset. And there is no accountability for what has gone on with these emergency mangers," she said.

"The teachers feel, and I feel, that no one is listening to us," Bailey said. "The teachers are not only fighting for themselves, but more importantly, they're fighting for their students."

Mechelle Doty, a school psychologist for the district, told ABC News Tuesday that staff members "would like nothing better than being able to serve the students. But we just want what's fair."

"Anyone in any work place ... expects compensation," she said. "We have bills, we have families, we have responsibilities just like anyone else who has a job. We're just really asking for fairness and what's due."

Doty said she's not sure if she'll go back to school Wednesday.

"It's a day-to-day approach," she said. "We are showing what our concerns are and we're waiting for a response. And we're really waiting to see if the funding that is necessary for the education of the district, if that's going to be approved."

Tuesday also happens to be National Teacher Appreciation Day, a part of Teacher Appreciation Week. Bailey said the timing is a coincidence.

"I did tell teachers 'Happy Appreciation Day,'" Bailey said. "It's kind of ironic."

Detroit Public Schools DPS Transition Manager Steven Rhodes did not immediately issue a statement on the second day of the "sick out," but he said Monday, "I am on record as saying that I cannot in good conscience ask anyone to work without pay."

"Nevertheless, it breaks my heart to think about the major impact that the closure of 94 of the district’s 97 schools is having on our students and their families," Rhodes said Monday, also noting that "families were forced to try to find a way to unexpectedly care for their students" and "many parents may have been forced to take a day off from work without pay." He also mentioned that some students rely on school for meals.

"Apart from the toll this is taking on our students and their families, of closing 94 schools, District funding will also be impacted -- at a time when we can least afford it," he said. "Today’s school closure action encouraged by the DFT may cost the District approximately $2 million in state aid. That amount of funding equates to the cost of hiring roughly 20 teachers. The loss of these funds also does nothing to help the district address the serious issues that we have all been working to address, including teacher/student ratios and smaller class sizes, as well as improving the quality of the learning environment in our schools."

Rhodes said he "can make no guarantees, but it is clear that the Michigan Legislature understands the urgency of this situation and will act in a timely manner to ensure that operations of the school district continues uninterrupted."

He said he will continue to work with Lansing policy makers to "help them understand how critical the passage of the legislation before them is not only to the future of Detroit Public Schools, but also to the future of the city of Detroit."

"Without this legislation, Detroit Public Schools will not be able to operate after June 30, 2016," Rhodes said.

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Stockbyte/Thinkstock(HARTFORD, Conn.) -- Victims of domestic violence in Connecticut will receive additional protections with the passing of a bill aimed at prohibiting those who are subject to a temporary restraining order from possessing firearms, thus eliminating a critical window of time during which a victim’s life could be at risk. The bill heads to the governor’s desk in the coming days for his signature before it becomes state law.

The bill passed in the Connecticut General Assembly -- the House passing its version of the bill last week, the Senate approving it Monday -- the latest action to strengthening gun laws following the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Gov. Dannel Malloy, who introduced the bill in February this year, said the bill is vital for the safety of domestic violence victims.

"We have a moral obligation to work to prevent needless tragedy and to make this the law,” he said in a statement Monday. “Women in abusive relationships are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a firearm. When an instance of domestic violence rises to the point that a temporary restraining order is needed, we must do everything we can to prevent tragedy. Now, Connecticut will take a commonsense step towards strengthening and enhancing our gun violence protection laws.”

Under current state law, only those with permanent restraining orders are prohibited from firearm possession. Those with temporary restraining orders must attend a hearing with a judge before a full restraining order can be granted -- this process often taking several weeks during which a victim’s life could be at risk, according to supporters of the bill.

The new bill will require the subject of the temporary order to turn in their firearm to police within 24 hours. The bill also requires a hearing on a full order to take place within seven days to usher along the process in a timely fashion, instead of the two week time allotment.

It's a bill federal lawmakers are also trying to mirror and propel across a national level. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, who's working on legislation of his own in the U.S. Senate, told ABC News that Congress needs to act, and fast.

“Congress must follow Connecticut’s lead and end its complicity with domestic violence gun deaths by passing national legislation prohibiting domestic abusers from having firearms. My measure would save lives by preventing domestic abusers across the country from purchasing or possessing guns," Blumenthal said. "Abusers are often at the height of their rage after being served with a temporary restraining order, and this new Connecticut law removes deadly weapons from their hands before they can cause irreversible harm. The link between guns and domestic violence is a deadly one. We must act quickly. Lives are literally on the line.”

Connecticut’s other Democratic senator, Chris Murphy, a co-sponsor of Blumenthal's bill, faults Congress for its inaction.

“I’m glad Connecticut is continuing to lead the nation in preventing dangerous people from buying guns. I see absolutely no reason why anyone would stand up and argue that a domestic abuser under a under a court-ordered temporary restraining order should be able to walk out of a store with a gun,” he said. “If Congress continues to fail to expand background checks and keep deadly weapons out of the hands of domestic abusers, more lives will be lost. And that will be on us.”

The state bill has earned applause from the White House and also former congresswoman and gun violence survivor Gabby Giffords.

“I applaud Connecticut’s leaders who stood up for common sense and voted for this responsible bill that will make it harder for abusers to get their hands on guns,” she said in a statement posted online.

According to Giffords’ organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions, women in the U.S. are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other developed countries. And more than than half of all murders of American women are committed with a gun, according to the group, which also noted that abused women are also five times more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a firearm.

But critics of gun control, including the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, say the bill violates due process rights for gun owners. CCDL President Scott Wilson posted his own statement online saying the bill eliminates the protections affirmed under the Fifth and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

“We feel it is important for the public to understand that individuals who may be served with an order of this type do not even have to be charged with any crime, let alone convicted of wrong-doing,” Wilson said. “It’s very unfortunate that proponents of this bill that hold office and have sworn to uphold our constitution are working hand in hand with groups that are specifically misleading the public.”

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Courtesy Nathaniel White(HOUSTON) -- "Non, je ne parle pas Français," is what one substitute high school teacher in Texas might say to his students -- though he is supposed to be teaching them French language.

When Energy Institute High School in Houston, Texas parted ways with their staff French teacher in December, they didn't have another teacher qualified to teach the language. They had to hire someone to run the class on short notice and the school district sent them a substitute who does not speak, let alone teach, French language.

The former teacher of the class, Jean Cius, said his students were doing well in French before he left the school. Although he doesn't believe it's the new teacher's fault that he doesn't know French, he doesn't believe he's a good fit for teaching the class.

“If you are a long-term sub, you have to be knowledgeable of the subject," he said. "You can’t be a sub for longer than two or three months and not be knowledgeable.”

But the substitute now in charge of the class, Albert Moyer, defends his position saying he has to be flexible. In a personal blog post, Moyer added that because he is an associate teacher he is not required to be certified in the subject.

“My job is to be as qualified as I can in an emergency wherever I am placed," he wrote in the post. "I have had numerous assignments in all subjects.”

Nathaniel White is a student in Moyer’s class and said he likes him as a teacher, but the class works on fill in the blank worksheets in order to learn the material.

White’s mother, Sharonda White, said she doesn't blame Moyer, but her Nathaniel is not learning the foreign language like he should be. She believes the school should be doing more to help the situation.

“It’s not his fault that he’s there. The school should do a better job at finding someone who is qualified.”

Jason Spencer of Houston Independent School District (HISD)said the school has been trying to find a qualified instructor but there is a shallow pool of candidates.

“It can often become a difficult task to find certified foreign language teachers, in the middle of the academic school year, to fill the needs of the district. Effective French teachers are especially hard to come by," officials from the HISD said in a statement. "The district continues its efforts to hire talented foreign language teachers to instruct HISD students. HISD strives to ensure all students have access to an education that will help ensure they are successful academically and ready to complete in a global econom

With one month left in the school year, Spencer says Moyer will still be in charge of the school’s French class unless a permanent replacement is found.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A suspect hijacked a Washington, D.C., bus Tuesday morning and hit and killed a pedestrian, the D.C. police department said.

The suspect boarded the metro bus around 10:30 a.m., and one stop later, he attacked the driver, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

The driver and passengers fled, but the suspect then pulled out a weapon, shut the bus door and drove away, Lanier said.

At a gas station lot, the suspect drove over a curb and fatally hit a pedestrian, Lanier said.

The suspect is in custody. Lanier said the entire deadly hijacking lasted less than three minutes.

The bus operator suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to Metro Transit Police. No passengers were injured.

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