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BREAKING: Bridge Day still set, but BASE-jumping cancelled!

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Bridge Day is still set for Oct. 16, but BASE-jumping is cancelled.

The Bridge Day Commission met Wednesday afternoon at the Fayetteville Town Hall to discuss this year’s upcoming Bridge Day. It was decided last week that the annual festival would return for 2021, after being canceled the year prior due to COVID-19. The commission voted 4-2 on that decision.

This week’s meeting was meant to go over basic updates and discuss any new changes that would be made to Bridge Day.

The largest change that was made at the meeting was the decision to cancel BASE-jumping at Bridge Day.

The BASE-Jump Coordinator for Bridge Day Marcus Ellison made the call. He says the decision was made largely because of safety reasons.

Injuries from BASE-jumpers are not uncommon during Bridge Day, and Ellison believes the strain on the local hospitals would cause the jumpers to be in a bad situation if any of them were hurt.

“Ultimately the safety and wellbeing of my jumpers is the number one priority,” Ellison said.”

Fayette County Health Department Administrator Teri Harlan attended the meeting, and said the health department believes the region is in or near the peak for COVID-19 cases.

They do not anticipate the strain on medical services to go away any time soon. 

The President of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and Bridge Day Commission Chair Becky Sullivan says that all base-jumpers who had already registered will receive a refund from the Chamber of Commerce.

Sullivan says she believes the decisions made were the right move.

“I am devastated to do this,” Sullivan said. “I don’t like the decisions that are being made, but I know they’re right.” 

Another issue that came up at the meeting was the lack of bus drivers for transportation. The commission says they needed to have 31 drivers to meet the full demand, but they only have 19.

These issues, combined with the COVID-19 concerns and the cancelation of base-jumping, led to some members believing that a revote on Bridge Day would be needed. 

A motion was made to have another vote next week, and a majority of members were in favor of having that revote. 

As of now, that revote on whether Bridge Day will happen is scheduled for the next meeting of the Bridge Day Commission on Wednesday, Sept. 29.

UPDATE: Victim identified in McDowell County shooting

Kobe Rawshawn Brown Raquel Deshowna Adams

UPDATE (9/21/2021 @ 3:15 p.m.) – The victim was 33-year-old Marcus Darcell Edwards from Welch.

The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office says there are no further updates at this time.

Stay with WOAY for the latest developments.

HAVACO, WV (WOAY) – Police are on the hunt for two suspects in connection with a murder in McDowell County.

Kobe Rashawn Brown is 23-years-old, 6’1″, 168. lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.  He was last seen Sunday, Aug. 19 in the Havaco area.

Raquel Deshowna Adams is 34-years-old, 5’4″, 153 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.  She was last seen Sunday, Aug. 19 in the Havaco area.

McDowell County Sheriff Boomer Muncy tells us officers were dispatched to the Havaco area at 4:30 Monday afternoon.

The name of the victim is being withheld until family is notified.

If you see either Raquel Adams or Kobe Brown, use caution and call police immediately at (304) 436-4106.

Two people charged in 2018 Raleigh County homicide

WHEELING, WV (WOAY) – Two people have been charged in connection with the ongoing 2018 homicide investigation of Trevor Vossen, Lauren “LuLu” Jenkins and her unborn child.

An Ohio County Grand Jury returned an indictment on Gerald Wayne Jako, Jr., 36, and Dana Marie Bowman, 33, both of Wheeling, on three counts of murder and two counts of concealing a deceased human body.

Jako currently is serving a prison sentence on unrelated charges at the Mt. Olive Correctional Complex.  Bowman was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force in Wyandot County, OH.  She currently is incarcerated at the Seneca County, OH jail.

Bowman will return to West Virginia after an extradition hearing in Ohio.  Both will be then arraigned in front of an Ohio County circuit court judge at a later time.

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine safe, effective for kids ages 5 to 11

WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC) – Data shows the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11, the companies announced Monday morning.

There were 2,268 participants ages 5 to 11 in the trial, which, while it still followed a two-dose regimen, used a lesser dose than the amount given to people ages 12 and older, for the “safety, tolerability and immunogenicity” of younger children.

“In participants 5 to 11 years of age, the vaccine was safe, well-tolerated and showed robust neutralizing antibody responses,” the companies said in a news release.

“These trial results provide a strong foundation for seeking authorization of our vaccine for children 5 to 11 years old, and we plan to submit them to the FDA and other regulators with urgency,” Bourla said.

Results from two other ongoing trials — one of children ages 2 to 5 and one of children 6 months to 2 years old — are expected as soon as later this year, the companies said.

Pfizer has also received emergency use authorization from the FDA to give a third dose of vaccine to those 12 years of age and older who have been determined to have certain kinds of immunocompromise.

Body ‘consistent with description’ of Gabby Petito found in Bridger-Teton National Forest


JACKSON, WY (WOAY) – A body of “consistent with the description of” Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old woman who went missing while on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend, was discovered in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming.

The FBI Denver, the National Park Service and law enforcement made the announcement Sunday evening in Grand Teton National Park.

The Teton County coroner confirmed to ABC News on Sunday afternoon that the agency dispatched resources to a body found in the national forest. No further details were disclosed, including whether the body is that of a man or a woman.

The development came as a search for Brian Laundrie, Petito’s boyfriend, resumed in Florida.

Petito’s parents reported her missing on Sept. 11 after not speaking with her for two weeks.

Laundrie had been named by police as a “person of interest” in Petito’s disappearance. The 23-year-old Laundrie, who returned home more than two weeks ago without Petito and has refused to speak to police, has not been seen since Tuesday, according to law enforcement officials.



Full Ride College Scholarship Winners
Waylon Gilkeson, Rupert
Brenden McCutcheon, Morgantown
Katelyn Roberts, Spurlockville
Caden Staggers, Keyser
[To be announced]

Luxury High-End Sports Car Winner
Aron Sattler, Mount Nebo

Custom Fishing Boat / Pontoon Boat Winner
Hazen Powell, Morgantown

$150,000 Dream Wedding Winner
Nikki Sites, Petersburg

Free Gas for 10 Years Winners
Nathan Flesher, Grafton
Lewis Wood, Hico

Premium ATV / Side-by-Side Winners
Bryan Hall, Vienna
Shannon Ridgeway, Delray

Top-of-the-line Zero Turn Lawn Mower Winners
Shawn Matthews, Maidsville
Virginia Perry, Isaban

WVU Football/Basketball Season Ticket Package Winners
Carolyn McCafferty, Moundsville
Carl Miller, Mannington
Stephen Schoenberger, Morgantown

Marshall Football/Basketball Season Ticket Package Winners
LeAnne Call, Hurricane
Margaret Lesser, Elkins
Jimmy Tincher, Huntington

Ski Resort Season Passes Winners
Mark Burton, Sutton
Shirley Carter, Ronceverte
Thomas Guire, Mabie
Michael Velin, Morgantown
Wesley Weese, Elkview


UPDATE – GREENBRIER COUNTY (WOAY) – Waylon Gilkeson, a Custodian at Greenbrier West High School is awarded with a Four Year, Full Ride Scholarship.


CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Gov. Jim Justice today announced the winners of more than 20 incredible prizes through his “Do it for Babydog: Round 2” Vaccination Sweepstakes.

Brenden McCutcheon of Morgantown, Katelyn Roberts of Spurlockville, and Caden Staggers of Keyser have each won a full four-year scholarship to any public college or university in the state, including room and board, tuition, and books; a prize valued at over $100,000.

Two additional scholarship winners, as well as winners of a luxury high-end sports car and a prize of free gas for 10 years will be revealed later today.

Today marks the third of six weeks of prize giveaways as part of “Do it for Babydog: Round 2.”

Full Ride College Scholarship Winners
Brenden McCutcheon, Morgantown
Katelyn Roberts, Spurlockville
Caden Staggers, Keyser
[To be announced]
[To be announced]

Luxury High-End Sports Car Winner
[To be announced]

Custom Fishing Boat / Pontoon Boat Winner
Hazen Powell, Morgantown

$150,000 Dream Wedding Winner
Nikki Sites, Petersburg

Free Gas for 10 Years Winners
Nathan Flesher, Grafton
[To be announced]

Premium ATV / Side-by-Side Winners
Bryan Hall, Vienna
Shannon Ridgeway, Delray

Top-of-the-line Zero Turn Lawn Mower Winners
Shawn Matthews, Maidsville
Virginia Perry, Isaban

WVU Football/Basketball Season Ticket Package Winners
Carolyn McCafferty, Moundsville
Carl Miller, Mannington
Stephen Schoenberger, Morgantown

Marshall Football/Basketball Season Ticket Package Winners
LeAnne Call, Hurricane
Margaret Lesser, Elkins
Jimmy Tincher, Huntington

Ski Resort Season Passes Winners
Mark Burton, Sutton
Shirley Carter, Ronceverte
Thomas Guire, Mabie
Michael Velin, Morgantown
Wesley Weese, Elkview

Nicholas County HS students, staff now required to wear masks

NICHOLAS COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Students and staff will now be required to wear masks at Nicholas County High School starting tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 16.

The news comes because of high COVID quarantine rates at the school.  It will be re-evaluated on Friday, Sept. 17.

U.S. Marshals on the hunt for alleged child molester last seen in Fayette County area

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Have you seen this man? U.S. Marshals are searching for an alleged child molester that has ties to West Virginia and was last seen in the Fayette County area.

The U.S. Marshals of the Southern District of West Virginia, the Cops United Felony Fugitive Enforcement Division (CUFFED) Task Force and the Florida/Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force are seeking the public’s help in locating alleged child molester Alain L. Forget.

Forget is wanted for the attempted lewd and lascivious molestation of a minor and the delivery of a controlled substances to a minor.

Forget was last known to be driving a 2015 black Chevy Silverado pick-up truck with Florida license plate number HPX138.

If you have information of Forget’s location or direction of travel, call Deputy U.S. Marshal Matthew Barget at (304) 382-7246 or email the tip line at USMS88TIPS@usdoj.gov.  All tips are kept strictly confidential.

Fate of Bridge Day 2021 to be decided today

UPDATE (WOAY) – Bridge Day 2021 Decision Expected Today!

The Bridge Day Commission meets this afternoon to decide whether to keep the longstanding annual tradition this year or cancel the event. Many are concerned of the risks COVID-19 could impose, as numbers continue to spike in West Virginia.

Area hotels and restaurants are extremely nervous over the possibility that Bridge Day 2021 might be canceled. “Businesses depend on the income this one day event brings into the region,” says one Hotel Manager who wished to remain anonymous. She says, “Not having a Bridge Day will likely put a strain on the area economy.”

Look for the commissions decision when it happens, right here on WOAY.COM and on Newswatch beginning at 5.

















FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Bridge Day 2021 might be in question.

The Bridge Day Commission is hosting a meeting tomorrow to discuss the final decision on whether or not they’ll hold the longstanding tradition this year because of COVID-19 concerns.

Last year, Bridge Day was canceled due to COVID-19.

WOAY NEWSWATCH will be there covering the meeting and will keep you updated on the very latest.

Mercer County schools to move to remote learning

MERCER COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Under the guidance of the Mercer County Health Department, Mercer County Schools will move to remote learning beginning, Thursday, Sept. 16-Friday, Sept. 24.
Students will return to in-person learning on Monday, Sept. 27. Tomorrow, teachers will ensure students have their devices for remote learning.
If your child is currently quarantined, contact the school to arrange pick up of their device if he or she doesn’t already have it.
Daily meals may be picked up from schools between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday this week and Monday and Tuesday of next week. After that, multi-day meal packs will be available for pick-up. Virtual student meal pack pick up times will remain as previously scheduled.
If a student was absent when devices were given out, please contact the school to arrange for pick-up.
Teachers and staff will report to school as usual.  All sports practices and games are postponed during the remote learning period.

Man arrested for murder/sexual assault of Raleigh County woman

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – A man is arrested for the murder and sexual assault of a Raleigh County woman.

Tonya Adkins was reported missing to police last month by her family.

Her remains were found on Wednesday in a wooded area off New River Dr. in Beckley.

Based on investigation, Ronald McClung is charged with the murder and sexual assault of Adkins.

Make sure to stay with WOAY for further updates on this case.

Wyoming County Board of Education votes in favor of mask mandate in schools

PINEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – A sea of parents waiting to voice their opinions to the Wyoming County Board of Education at Tuesday’s meeting.

The reason? The topic of requiring masks in schools is at the top of the agenda.

“Why do you feel like, a few weeks ago, it was our decision,” said Parent Nathan Walker. “And now it’s not.”

So far this school year, parents have had the choice of whether to mask their kids in school. Almost everyone speaking in front of the board on Tuesday wants to keep it that way.

“Parents should have that freedom to choose how their kid is taken care of,” said Parent Savannah Lambert.

“They need to see facial expressions,” added Parent Cinnamon Blankenship.

Not everyone is against a mandate, though. Diane Brooks-Smith, a nurse who works in the county, is pleading with the parents to consider children who aren’t eligible to be vaccinated.

“It’s the 0 to 11, that can’t do anything, but listen to what the parents say,” Brooks-Smith said.

After listening to the public for over an hour, Superintendent Deirdre Cline is advising board members to vote in favor of this mandate, recommended by the State Department, in order to increase chances of keeping students in person.

“Masks must be worn by all students and employees during the school day at all times, except when eating,” Cline said. “Regardless of vaccine status, unless students or employees have a medical excuse not to wear a mask.”

The board voting 4-1 in favor of the mandate. Board members will re-assess the mandate at every mid-month meeting going forward.

The mandate will go into effect on Thursday, Sept. 9.


PINEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – The Wyoming County Board of Education votes to install a mask mandate for all schools in the county.

The Board of Education voted 4-1 in favor of the mandate during Tuesday’s meeting. Members of the public were in attendance and several expressed their opinions to the Board before the vote.

The mandate will take effect Thursday morning.

Mask Mandate Effective Immediately in all Fayette County Schools

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – One county is advised by the West Virginia Department of Education to install a mask mandate in all schools, effective immediately.

All Fayette County students and staff will be required to wear face masks/shields in schools beginning Tuesday. Since the start of the year, Fayette County has had to quarantine 788 students and place two schools on remote learning. The goal of the mandate is to keep schools open throughout the county and minimize quarantining in the case of exposure to COVID-19.

“If a student is vaccinated, they don’t have to quarantine,” said Fayette County Schools’ Superintendent Gary Hough. “That’s a big change that occurred, so that’s really important information that was already in the guidance. With both of those factors in place, if a student is vaccinated, they don’t have to quarantine. If they’re masked up, they don’t have to quarantine. That’s really why it’s very important.”

Hough added that Fayette County will monitor the mandate based on additional guidance from the state.

No New Deaths Sunday from Coronavirus

The state of West Virginia is reporting no new deaths, but added 1,500 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday.

Right now there are 20,930 active cases, according to the state Department of Health and Human Resources.

Hospitalizations remain at 709 since the last update on Saturday and the statewide death toll is 3,124. The DHHR website reports 216 of those patients are in intensive care and 112 are on ventilators.

The DHHR also reports that 62% of all West Virginians have had at least 1 dose of the vaccine; 51.1% of all West Virginians are fully vaccinated.

The positivity rate is 5.32%.

Willard Scott, legendary TODAY weatherman, dies at 87

Willard Scott, who forecast the weather on TODAY for more than three decades and spent 65 years at NBC, died this week, TODAY’s Al Roker has confirmed.

“We lost a beloved member of our @todayshow family this morning,” Roker shared on Instagram. “Willard Scott passed peacefully at the age of 87 surrounded by family, including his daughters Sally and Mary and his lovely wife, Paris. He was truly my second dad and am where I am today because of his generous spirit. Willard was a man of his times, the ultimate broadcaster. There will never be anyone quite like him.”

Scott joined TODAY in 1980 and may have been best known for wishing happy birthday to fans turning 100. The centenarians’ picture appeared on a Smucker’s jelly jar while Scott recognized them in front of millions of viewers.

Scott began his 65-year career with NBC as a page at the affiliate station in Washington, D.C., in 1950, and would also do his forecasts on the road.

Scott was known as the show’s signature weatherman until he announced his semi-retirement in 1996, when Roker took over the job.

Five Raleigh County Schools Close due to Covid-19

RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) — Five schools in Raleigh County will remain closed until at least Wednesday, Sept. 8 due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

These are the schools impacted:
Ridgeview Elementary School
Beckley Stratton Middle School
Independence Middle School
Independence High School
Liberty High School


POCAHONTAS COUNTY, WV (WOAY) Police need your help locating a 69-year old man from Pocahontas County, West Virginia.

James Andrew Hefner’s family told officers that Mr. Hefner was last seen Monday, August 30, 2021 around 11am in Renick and was headed south towards Lewisburg, West Virginia. Hefner’s family says he was possibly suffering from paranoia and left his home in his Red 2014 Jeep Patriot, bearing West Virginia registration plate (66P538).

Mr. Hefner is described as a 69-year-old white male, approximately 5-foot/9-inches tall, weighing 240 pounds with a full gray beard.

A Silver Alert has been issued. If seen please contact the West Virginia State Police Marlinton Detachment at 304 799-4101 or Troop 3 Headquarters in Elkins at 304 637-0200.

Suspect arrested in double homicide case, investigation still ongoing

RONCEVERTE, WV (WOAY) – On April 2 of last year, two residents of Ronceverte were killed in a double homicide and their home was set on fire.

The Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department, West Virginia State Police and the West Virginia Fire Marshal’s Office began an investigation. For months they made little progress, and soon began to offer rewards for any information about what happened that night.

But more than a year later on Saturday, Aug. 28, Jeremiah Powell of Marlinton was arrested at his residence in Pocahontas County.

“Ever since the officers initially responded to that house fire in April of last year, the investigators have been working on it continuously during that time,” Greenbrier County Sheriff Bruce Sloan said.

Powell is charged with two counts of first degree murder, in connection with the deaths of Joseph and Daisy Foster.

According to the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department, the Fosters were not killed in the house fire. They were killed beforehand and then their home was set on fire in an act of arson. Powell is not related to the Fosters, but he is a suspect in the case. 

“We’re not aware of any direct connection between he and the victims. Just during the investigation, the name of this individual came to light. And they did a lot of follow-up and pursued all the leads available to determine if the individual was involved. And they were able to develop enough information to obtain an arrest warrant.” 

The investigation is still ongoing and rewards are still in place for any information. The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office is offering $10,000 for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of any perpetrators.

UPDATE: Pocahontas County man arrested in connection to murder of Greenbrier County couple

UPDATE (8/29/21 @ 6:45 p.m.) – A Pocahontas County man is arrested in connection to the deaths of a Greenbrier County couple.

Last night, Jeremiah Bleu Powell, 32, of Marlinton, was taken into custody at his home in Pocahontas County.

Powell is charged with two counts of first degree murder in connection with the deaths of Joseph (Danny) and Daisy Foster.  The couple died at their home on Fullen Cemetery Rd. in Ronceverte on April 2, 2020.

Powell is being held at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.

The investigation is still ongoing.  If you have any information, contact the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Office at (304) 647-6634 or Crime Stoppers of WV at (304) 255-STOP or www.crimestopperswv.com.  Information may be provided anonymously.

A $10,000 reward is being offered by the WV State Fire Marshal’s Office for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s).

GREENBRIER COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – The reward for information leading to the arrest of a killer in Greenbrier County is now $10,000.

As investigators have continued their investigation into the April 2, 2020 homicide of Danny and Daisy Foster, and subsequent arson of their home, corroborative information is being sought to aid in bringing those responsible to justice.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s office has increased the reward being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) from $5,000 to $10,000.

Individuals with information can contact Lieutenant G.R. Workman or Deputy A.L. Workman with the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Office at (304) 647-6634 or the non-emergency 911 number, (304) 647-7911.

Information may also be provided to Crime Stoppers of WV at www.crimestopperswv.com or (304) 673-9205.

Firefighters Rescue two Women Trapped in House Fire

OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – Fayette County firefighters recused two women who were trapped in a burning home in Oak Hill early Thursday afternoon.

Fire crews responded to the fire on Central Ave near Main Street around 11:20 a.m.

The victims trapped inside the home were severely burned and transported by air to a Charleston-area hospital, according to fire officials on the scene.

As of right now, the cause of the fire is unknown.

Stick with WOAY for further details.

U.S. regulators give full approval to Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, a milestone that may help lift public confidence in the shots as the nation battles the most contagious coronavirus mutant yet.

The vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech now carries the strongest endorsement from the Food and Drug Administration, which has never before had so much evidence to judge a shot’s safety. More than 200 million Pfizer doses already have been administered in the U.S. — and hundreds of millions more worldwide — since emergency use began in December.

“The public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product,” said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock. “Today’s milestone puts us one step closer to altering the course of this pandemic in the U.S.”

The U.S. becomes the first country to fully approve the shot, according to Pfizer, and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement he hoped the decision “will help increase confidence in our vaccine, as vaccination remains the best tool we have to help protect lives.”

UPDATE: Suspect dead after officer-involved shooting

UPDATE (8/20 @ 3 p.m.) – The suspect involved in the officer-involved shooting in Beckley has died from his injuries.

On Wednesday, deputies responded to the Rural Acres Dr. area regarding a complaint of indecent exposure.

On arrival, the responding deputy encountered the suspect, Kevin Eugene Norris.

During the encounter, Norris became uncooperative, refusing to show his hands until he eventually produced what the deputy perceived to be a firearm from a holster on his side pointing it at the deputy.

During a later investigation, it was discovered Norris had pointed a pellet gun resembling a semi-automatic handgun.

The investigation is still ongoing and being conducted by West Virginia State Police.

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Sheriff Scott Van Meter confirms one of his deputies was involved in a shooting.

Raleigh County Deputies responded to a call on Rural Acres Dr. around 7 p.m.

One person was taken to a local hospital, and the deputy involved was not hurt in the incident.

West Virginia State Police is currently investigating the incident with assistance from the Sheriff’s Department Detective Bureau.

We will continue to provide updates on this situation as it develops.

Police probing report of explosive in truck near Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police were investigating a report Thursday of a possible explosive device in a pickup truck outside the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill and have evacuated multiple buildings on the sprawling Capitol complex, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

U.S. Capitol Police said officers were “responding to a suspicious vehicle near the Library of Congress,” and that it was an “active bomb threat investigation.”

Negotiation is still ongoing to have a “peaceful resolution” and the suspect’s motives were unknown, Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said in a press conference around noon local time.

The building is near the Capitol and the Supreme Court. Police have also evacuated congressional offices nearby, encouraging people to remain calm and use the underground tunnels if necessary to leave the area. Staffers were seen walking quickly out of nearby buildings at the direction of law enforcement. Congress is on recess this week.

The law enforcement officials said investigators on the scene were working to determine whether the device was an operable explosive and whether the man in the truck was holding a detonator. Police were sending snipers to the scene, according to the officials.

The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The area was blocked off by police cars and barricades, and multiple fire trucks and ambulances were staged nearby. Also responding were the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The White House said it was monitoring the situation and was being briefed by law enforcement.

The incident comes months after a pipe bomb was left at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee in Washington a day before thousands of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in January.

U.S. health officials call for booster shots against COVID-19

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. health officials Wednesday recommended all Americans get COVID-19 booster shots to shore up their protection amid the surging delta variant and evidence that the vaccines’ effectiveness is falling.

The plan, as outlined by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other top authorities, calls for an extra dose eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The doses could begin the week of Sept. 20.

Health officials said people who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also probably need extra shots. But they said they are awaiting more data and have yet to work out the details.

The overall plan is awaiting a Food and Drug Administration evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of a third dose, the officials said.

In a statement, health officials said it is “very clear” that the vaccines’ protection against infection wanes over time, and now, with the highly contagious delta variant spreading rapidly, “we are starting to see evidence of reduced protection against mild and moderate disease.”

“Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death could diminish in the months ahead,” they said.

Andrew Cuomo to resign as New York governor following sexual harassment allegations


NEW YORK, NY (ABC) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced he will resign from office following accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conductfrom a number of women, including former staffers and one current staffer.

After a four-month investigation, New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced in a 168-page report last week that “the governor engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment under federal and New York State law.”

“Specifically, we find that the Governor sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women,” the report said.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will assume the governor’s seat, becoming the first woman to lead New York state.

Cuomo, the son of legendary former Gov. Mario Cuomo and the heir to his deep political legacy, gained renewed national attention during the pandemic with his daily COVID-19 briefings.

But his image took a hit with the drumbeat of allegations from women surfacing as well as questions about his administration failing to fully disclose the nursing home deaths caused by the virus.

The governor admitted that the state miscategorized the nursing home data but said it was because it had not been verified.

Cuomo, however, has vehemently denied the allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct, including a reported sexual assault. In a March 12 press conference he told reporters, “I did not do what has been alleged,” but defended the right of his accusers to come forward and tell their stories.

At Tuesday’s press conference, employment discrimination attorney Anne Clark, one of the investigators assigned to lead the probe, presented findings from the report, including specific examples of the governor making suggestive comments and engaging in unwanted touching that 11 women found “deeply humiliating and offensive.”

In at least one instance, the investigation determined that the governor sought to retaliate against a woman who leveled accusations against him, identified in a report released by the AG’s office as Lindsay Boylan.

In February, Boylan, a former special adviser to the governor, and Charlotte Bennett, a former health policy adviser, both detailed examples where Cuomo allegedly spoke inappropriately while they were both employed by the governor’s office. Boylan initially made the allegations in a series of tweets in December, and Cuomo denied the accusations.

In an instance involving one of Cuomo’s unnamed executive assistants, the governor was found to have “reached under her blouse and grabbed her breast,” according to the report.

The same woman also recounted a circumstance in which “the governor moved his hand to grab her butt cheek and began to rub it. The rubbing lasted at least five seconds,” the report said.

After allegations were first made against Cuomo, other women began accusing the governor of various forms of inappropriate conduct.

Anna Ruch claimed Cuomo touched her and asked if he could kiss her during a wedding reception in September 2019.

Karen Hinton, a former press aide to Cuomo when he was the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, told The Washington Post that while later working as a consultant, Cuomo had summoned her to his hotel room.

Hinton said she pulled away from Cuomo, but he pulled her back toward his body, holding her before she backed away and left the room.

Another former staffer, Ana Liss, also came forward on March 6 with allegations of inappropriate comments and touching.

Another woman alleged the governor groped her during a visit to the executive mansion in 2020, the Albany Times Union reported March 10.

Sherry Vill, came forward with allegations that the governor inappropriately touched and kissed her in 2017.

Cuomo met with her during a tour of flood damage near her town in Greece, New York, she said. The governor took her by the hand, pulled her in and kissed her on both cheeks, Vill said.

“That’s what Italians do, kiss both cheeks,” the governor allegedly told Vill.

Vill said at the time she was not pressing charges or filing suit for this incident but was planning to meet with the state attorney general to discuss the matter.

“During times of crisis, the governor has frequently sought to comfort New Yorkers with hugs and kisses,” Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin, said. “As I have said before, the governor has greeted both men and women with hugs, a kiss on the cheek, forehead or hand for the past 40 years.”

After a back and forth on Feb. 28 between the governor’s office and the New York attorney general’s office over who would oversee an investigation into the allegations, Cuomo gave James the approval to look at the case.

James deputized two private lawyers to conduct the investigation.

As the number of allegations grew, elected officials on both sides of the aisle called for Cuomo to step down including New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and state Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

State Assembly Leader Carl Heastie announced on March 11 that he authorized the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation. On Tuesday, in the wake of the attorney general’s report, he said the Democratic majority had lost confidence in the governor.

“After our conference this afternoon to discuss the Attorney General’s report concerning sexual harassment allegations against Governor Cuomo, it is abundantly clear to me that the Governor has lost the confidence of the Assembly Democratic majority and that he can no longer remain in office,” Heastie said in a statement. “Once we receive all relevant documents and evidence from the Attorney General, we will move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible.”

Cuomo initially denied the allegations from the first two victims but acknowledged on March 3 that he “acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable.”

“It was unintentional, and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it and, frankly, I am embarrassed. And that’s not easy to say,” he said.

After more women came forward, he made similar statements and insisted he was not going to resign during news conferences in March.

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