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2 dead in Wisconsin as heat wave blankets large parts of nation

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2 dead in Wisconsin as heat wave blankets large parts of nation

Two deaths in the Milwaukee area are being investigated as heat related, officials said Wednesday, as almost 70 million people across the U.S. were under advisories due to sweltering conditions.

The deaths of a 39-year-old Milwaukee woman found in her home Tuesday and an 89-year-old Greenfield man who collapsed in his backyard Wednesday were called “probable” heat deaths by the medical examiner’s office, but autopsies are pending.

They occurred as Milwaukee and much of the Midwest and South were under a heatwave. In the Milwaukee area, heat indexes of 99 degrees had been forecast Wednesday.

More than 69 million people across the United Stateson Wednesday were under either a heat advisory or an excessive heat warnig,, which stretched from Michigan and Kansas to Florida, according to the National Weather Service

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IIn Columbus, Ohio, the misery was compounded by power outages that began Tuesday. Power wasn’t expected to be fully restored until Thursday morning.

Around 87,000 customers in the Columbus area remained without power Wednesday afternoon, utility AEP said. The company said that storms this week damaged transmission lines, leaving others overloaded, and that it had to cut power to people to protect the system.

Temperatures were in the 90s Wednesday. Mayor Andrew Ginther urged patience. “I know it’s tough — I’m without power at my house as well,” he tweeted Tuesday.

Parts of Chicago’s western suburbs also had extended electricity outages after storms that happened Monday. 

“Like Death Valley,” is how one resident described conditions inside his powerless home to NBC Chicago Wednesday.

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IIn Pittsburgh, public school students will have only a half-day Thursday, which is the last day of the school year, because of temperatures expected to be in the 90s. Some schools don’t have air conditioning, which the school district said was of particular concern.

The heat in parts of the Midwest was forecast to continue through Thursday. Columbus is expected to have a high of 94 degrees and Pittsburgh 93.

Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky were among the states expected to see heat indexes of above 100 degrees Thursday, the weather service said. Above-normal temperatures were expected to over the Southeast through Friday, the agency said

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Michigan judge orders release of Oxford school shooting evidence, including surveillance footage

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Michigan judge orders release of Oxford school shooting evidence, including surveillance footage

Oakland County Circuit Judge Rae Lee Chabot signed an order Thursday requiring the Oakland County Sheriff’s office, the county and the Oxford Community School District to release evidence, including video footage, related to the November school shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan.

The ruling was made as part of a civil lawsuit brought by families of victims of the shooting against school officials, accused shooter Ethan Crumbley and his parents. Court documents show that the victims’ families subpoenaed records related to the shooting and surrounding events, but the school district did not hand over the documents by the deadline set.

Ethan Crumbley, a student at the school, is charged with 24 counts after he allegedly shot and killed four of his classmates on Nov. 30.

His parents, Jennifer and James Crumbley, are also charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter after allegedly failing to recognize warning signs about their son in the months before the shooting.

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All three Crumbleys have pleaded not guilty. Judge Kwame Rowe on Thursday postponed Ethan Crumbley’s trial to next year.

The families of the victims had asked Judge Chabot to order the school district, Oakland County and the Oakland County Sheriff’s department to hand over evidence.

Parents walk away with their kids from the Meijer’s parking lot in Oxford where many students gathered following an active shooter situation at Oxford High School in Oxford, Mich., Nov. 30, 2021.

Detroit Free Press via USA Today Network, FILE

The district and sheriff’s department had filed requests to stop the release of the evidence, but Chabot denied those requests.

“We fully expect that Oxford Community Schools, Oakland County/Oakland County Sheriff’s Office will fully comply with the law and Judge Chabot’s order. Our clients have waited over seven months to see the full and complete investigation with their own eyes; that’s long enough,” Ven Johnson an attorney for the victims families said in a statement to ABC News.

Sheriff Michael Bouchard, whose department has led the investigation into the shooting, told ABC News that he will meet with lawyers before settling on a timeline for the release of the footage.

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Bouchard said he has no issue following the judge’s order, but expressed concern that publicizing the video might complicate efforts to sit juries in the trials against the alleged shooter and his parents, both of which are scheduled for later this year.

The decision came as the Oxford Community School District said Wednesday that it hired Guidepost Solutions and Varnum law to investigate the events surrounding the shooting. The district said it will make all materials and information available to the investigative team.

The district said Guidepost will share the report with the community at the same time it is shared with the board and school administration.

“Of course, independent investigations like these take time, and we will not sacrifice the integrity of the investigation with an artificial timeline.  With that said, the investigation team is getting in place, getting up to speed, and getting ready to begin – and they will conduct and complete their work with deliberate care and speed,” Tom Donnelly, the school board president, said in a letter to the community.

The district said it will also launch a website that covers its response to the shooting that it expects to be live in about a month. It also set up a secure email that would allow students, family members and members of the community to share information or request a meeting with investigators.

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Man sentenced for leading police on wild chase with stolen RV

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Man sentenced for leading police on wild chase with stolen RV

AKRON, Ohio – A man who led authorities on a wild police pursuit with a stolen motorhome in Summit County was sentenced to prison Thursday.

Randy Schiffbauer, 25, of Smithville in Wayne County, pleaded guilty to robbery, two counts of felonious assault and failure to comply. He was sentenced to seven to nine and a half years in prison.

The pursuit began after the Summit County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about a man trying to break into vehicles in the city of Green on June 2, 2021.

When a deputy arrived, she saw the RV leave the scene at a high rate of speed, with the slide-outs extended and a power cord dragging behind it. 

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The deputy tried to pull the RV over, but the driver, later identified as Shiffbauer, refused to stop and rammed the deputy’s cruiser and other cars and trucks as the pursuit continued.

Troopers with Ohio State Highway Patrol joined the chase and used stop sticks to try and stop the RV. But, even on flat tires and eventually just the rims, Shiffbauer kept driving.

After ramming into police cruisers and civilian vehicles on Arlington Avenue, Shiffbauer tried to get away by driving through the backyards of homes in a neighborhood in Green.

At one point, troopers tried to use the so-called PIT maneuver to stop the RV and tore off the back end, but, again, Shiffbauer kept driving.

The pursuit came to end when Schiffbauer drove into the back yard of a home. He nearly hit a woman spreading mulch before bailing out of the RV and fleeing on foot. He was quickly captured after being chased down by a Highway Patrol canine.

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This wasn’t the first time Schiffbauer made headlines for unusual criminal behavior behind the wheel. 

Investigators say in 2019, he jumped into a bulldozer at a construction site in Summit County and went on a rampage on the streets of Akron. Witnesses looked on in disbelief as Schiffbauer used the bulldozer to ram into cars and then tried to demolish a house.

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US Marshals find Jeep registered to Austin woman suspected of killing cyclist

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US Marshals find Jeep registered to Austin woman suspected of killing cyclist

U.S. Marshals found the black Jeep Grand Cherokee registered to Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the Austin woman suspected of killing professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson in May, the law enforcement agency said Thursday.

Investigators with the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force discovered that Armstrong sold the car to a CarMax dealership in Austin on May 13 for $12,200. Armstrong received a check from CarMax just one day after she was questioned by police, they said.

Wilson was found bleeding and unconscious at a friend’s house on May 11 after suffering multiple gunshot wounds, according to police. Despite first-responders performing life-saving measures, she was pronounced dead. Police issued a warrant for Armstrong’s arrest and have been looking for her since last month. She faces a first-degree murder charge.

Authorities said a car resembling suspect Kaitlin Armstrong’s 2012 Jeep Cherokee was captured on surveillance footage near the victim’s residence on May 11, 2022.

Colin Strickland, who has been dating and living with Armstrong for three years, dated Wilson during a brief break in their relationship. Strickland and Armstrong resumed dating after that. The day Wilson was killed, she had met with Strickland to go swimming, according to police.

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Investigators said Armstrong went to Austin International Bergstrom Airport on May 14, where she boarded a flight to Houston Hobby Airport. Shen then took a connecting flight to New York LaGuardia Airport. Her last known location is the Newark Liberty International Airport where she was dropped off on May 18, according to U.S. Marshals.

The U.S. Marshals Service shared this undated image of homicide suspect Kaitlin Armstrong.

U.S. Marshals Service

Investigators say a source told them Armstrong was provided with transportation to the Newark airport on May 18, but upon searching outbound flights from the airport they found no flight reservations under her name.

The U.S. Marshals Service has elevated the case to “major” and is offering a reward of up to $5,000 in addition to the $1,000 reward from the Capital Area Crime Stoppers, for any information that leads to her arrest. An anonymous donor is also offering up to $15,000 in reward money for her arrest, according to the agency.

Investigators put out a warrant out for Armstrong’s arrest on May 25 for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

U.S. Marshals described Armstrong as 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds. She has long, curly light brown hair and hazel eyes.

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