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JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has died at age 79, two law enforcement sources told ABC News on Saturday.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. said in a statement: "On behalf of the Court and retired Justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away. He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the Court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family."

Scalia died Saturday in Texas of apparently natural causes, according to law enforcement sources.

Scalia, a conservative, was the longest-serving current justice on the Supreme Court. He was nominated to the court by President Reagan and took his seat Sept. 26, 1986.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement on Saturday, "Justice Antonin Scalia was a man of God, a patriot, and an unwavering defender of the written Constitution and the Rule of Law."

"He was the solid rock who turned away so many attempts to depart from and distort the Constitution. His fierce loyalty to the Constitution set an unmatched example, not just for judges and lawyers, but for all Americans," Abbott said.

"We mourn his passing, and we pray that his successor on the Supreme Court will take his place as a champion for the written Constitution and the Rule of Law," Abbott said.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called Scalia "a champion of our liberties and a stalwart defender of the Constitution," in a Facebook post Saturday. "He will go down as one of the few Justices who single-handedly changed the course of legal history."

"As liberals and conservatives alike would agree, through his powerful and persuasive opinions, Justice Scalia fundamentally changed how courts interpret the Constitution and statutes, returning the focus to the original meaning of the text after decades of judicial activism," Cruz said. "And he authored some of the most important decisions ever, including District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized our fundamental right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms. He was an unrelenting defender of religious liberty, free speech, federalism, the constitutional separation of powers, and private property rights. All liberty-loving Americans should be in mourning."

"Justice Scalia’s three decades on the Court was one of President Reagan’s most consequential legacies," Cruz continued. "Our prayers are with his beloved wife Maureen, their nine children, and their precious grandchildren."

Scalia was born in Trenton, New Jersey, on March 11, 1936. Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Scalia was appointed Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1982. He also served as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1974 to 1977, Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1972 to 1974 and General Counsel of the Office of Telecommunications Policy from 1971 to 1972.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


PennLive.com(FREDERICKSBURG, Pa.) -- A multi-vehicle crash, involving between 20 and 30 vehicles, has shut down traffic on a Pennsylvania interstate highway as some people are reported to be trapped inside their cars.

A Pennsylvania State Trooper confirmed to ABC News that three people were killed in the crash.

The crash has shut down Interstate 78 in the area of Fredricksburg and Route 22. According to PennLive, emergency crews are on the scene. Weather likely played a role in the crash, as snow was falling at the time. The Northeast is also dealing with frigid temperatures as part of an Arctic Blast.

This is a developing story.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


PennLive.com(FREDERICKSBURG, Pa.) -- A multi-vehicle crash, involving between 20 and 30 vehicles, has shut down traffic on a Pennsylvania interstate highway as some people are reported to be trapped inside their cars.

The crash has shut down Interstate 78 in the area of Fredricksburg and Route 22. According to PennLive, emergency crews are on the scene. Weather likely played a role in the crash, as snow was falling at the time. The Northeast is also dealing with frigid temperatures as part of an Arctic Blast.

This is a developing story.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Thinkstock(CEDARVILLE, Calif.) -- A 69-year-old Oregon man has two Nevada police officers to thank for saving his life after he was lost in the desert for a week.

Philip Besanson said he was traveling from Arizona to Eugene, Oregon, when his truck broke down on a snow-covered road 50 miles north of Gerlach, Nevada on Feb. 5, according to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in Reno, Nevada.

The man stayed with his vehicle and survived off of rationed canned food and water from the melted snow, the sheriff’s office said in a press release.

On Friday, Patrol Lt. Phil Condon and Sgt. Dennis Hippert were inspecting the remote area of the highway when they found Besanson that morning. They took him to a hospital in Cedarville, Calif., where he's recovering.

The rescuers say Besanson did the smart thing by staying with his truck rather than attempting to walk to Gerlach. The vehicle provided shelter and was much easier for Condon and Hippert to locate.

“Mr. Besanson told us that he believes his life was saved by Lieutenant Condon and Sergeant Hippert today and I agree with him,” said Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen, who praised the officers in a statement.

“Because of the bad road and weather conditions along SR 34 this time of year, it may have been several more weeks before anyone else traveled up that particular stretch of highway and located this gentleman," he added.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A major cold blast is hitting the Northeast and Midwest Saturday and forcing nearly 100 million people to deal with dangerous and possibly life-threatening wind chills.

The polar air is already making its way eastward from the Midwest. The greater Chicago area could see wind chills Saturday as low as minus 20 degrees. In Wisconsin and Minnesota, there is a chance for wind chills as low minus 30 degrees below zero.

A wind chill advisory has been issued for New York City, southwards towards Philadelphia and down the Appalachians. The coldest wind chills are expected in these areas late Saturday night into early Sunday morning. One of the areas of concern will be parts of upstate New York, where wind chills could dip as low as minus 40 degrees.

New York City's Central Park hit 22 degrees early Saturday, but factoring the wind chill it feels 15 degrees below zero. If New York City were to drop below 2 degrees on Sunday, it will beat the record for the coldest Valentine’s Day, which was set in 1916. The last time the Big Apple hit zero degrees was in 1994.

Philadelphia is operating in Code Blue, a city-wide response to get anyone who needs shelter inside. Warming centers have been opened across the I-95 corridor to help anyone get indoors and away from the brutal cold.

Wind chill watches and warnings are in effect for much of New England. Wind chill values overnight could dip to life-threatening conditions in the New England area. Those venturing outside for prolonged periods of time could easily receive frostbite and hypothermia.

For Sunday morning, record daily lows will be possible from central New Jersey to Boston. In addition, record low high temperatures will be possible in parts of the Northeast as well. Boston’s record daily low on Sunday is minus three degrees, and the current forecast is already minus four degrees. The last time it was this cold in Boston was in 2004.

In addition to the brutal cold air, snow squalls will be possible across the Midwest and the Northeast Saturday morning with generally light accumulations.

Meanwhile temperatures are expected to quickly rise up towards average, possibly above average by Tuesday and lasting through the end of the month.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.





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