• iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) --  Greg Carlson has had to overcome learning disabilities throughout his life, but when he met his high school teacher, Megan Gross, learning became a lot easier.“It was always a joy to come in here and she’s just a wonderful teacher because she’s helped me a lot through my four years of high school,” Carlson said. “The way Mrs. Gross taught me was very easy and precise and I could easily understand the material.”Gross, 36, is one of the country’s top educators. This year, she was California’s Teacher of the Year and a top four finalist for the National Teacher of the Year Award.Gross is beginning her 5th year of teaching an autism spectrum disorder class at Del Norte High School in San Diego, California.“I think the most misunderstood part about students with autism is that ... they’re not one of us,” Gross, 19, said. “It doesn’t matter if a student has autism, it doesn’t matter if a student has Down syndrome, it doesn’t matter if a student is an AP student, I think that you have to see kids for who they are.”Sharon Carlson told ABC News that her son was placed in classes that cater to students with autism because "he has a learning disability [and] mainstream classes at times provided too challenging."Gross said Carlson exemplifies perseverance. “When road blocks get in his way, with his health or with other challenges, he takes that in stride,” she said.Carlson credits Gross’ teaching style for putting him on the path to become a phys ed teacher for kids with disabilities.
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  • Robert Millis / EyeEm(PHILADELPHIA) -- More than 30 people were injured on Tuesday after a high-speed train made contact with an unoccupied parked train outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to official with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. The incident happened just after midnight at a transportation terminal in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, located about 30 minutes west of Philadelphia, a SEPTA spokesperson said.
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  • Chicago Police(CHICAGO) -- A Northwestern University professor, as he allegedly stabbed his boyfriend whom prosecutors say he couldn't subdue, yelled for a second man to help him, according to a court document detailing the alleged murder.Wyndham Lathem, a faculty member at Northwestern until he was fired this month after the alleged crime, and the second suspect, Andrew Warren, spent more than a week on the run together after, police say, they killed Lathem's boyfriend, Trenton Cornell-Duranleau.Cornell-Duranleau, 26, was found stabbed to death at Lathem's Chicago apartment July 27. Both suspects were taken into custody in California Aug. 4 after a nationwide manhunt.The suspects have not been arraigned to face a formal charge but the court document cites first-degree murder. Their attorneys say they are innocent.Police Sunday described the crime scene as "savage and grisly."Here are some of the details of the crime, according to the court document from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office:Lathem, who lived in Chicago, and Warren, who lived in England, had allegedly communicated in an internet chatroom "about carrying out their sexual fantasies of killing others and then themselves."Lathem allegedly paid for Warren to come to the United States for them to kill someone and then each other, and a few days before July 27, Lathem met Warren at Chicago's O'Hare airport. Lathem allegedly rented a room for Warren near his apartment.On July 26, Lathem allegedly lured the victim to his apartment while texting Warren that they would kill him that night.After Cornell-Duranleau went to sleep, Lathem texted Warren and told him to come over, and Lathem allegedly gave Warren a cellphone and told him to record the killing.After Lathem allegedly stabbed his boyfriend repeatedly in the neck and chest, the victim woke up and began to scream and fight back.Lathem allegedly couldn't control the victim and yelled to Warren to help him."Warren walked into the bedroom and placed his hands over the victim’s mouth to stop him from screaming. The victim bit defendant Warren’s hand and flailed his arms in the struggle," the court document said. "To silence the victim and stop him from moving, defendant Warren struck the victim in the head with a heavy metal lamp."Both suspects stabbed the victim, the document said, alleging that "Warren used so much force on the victim that he broke the blade of one of the knives he used."The court document said the victim’s last words to Lathem were, "Wyndham, what are you doing?"While the victim bled to death in the bedroom, the suspects showered and tried to clean up the scene, the document said.The document said a car was rented in Lathem’s name and that he left an anonymous cash donation of $5,610 at the Howard Brown Health Center in the victim's name.The court document said after the suspects fled Chicago, Lathem "called the front desk of his apartment building and told front desk security that apartment 1004 should be checked, there had been a crime committed in that room."Responding authorities found that the victim had been stabbed 70 times and his head was nearly decapitated, the court document said.While the suspects were on the run, Lathem sent a video message to his parents and to friends, admitting "that he killed the victim and that the murder was not an accident," but saying, "he is not the person people thought he was," according to the court document."He admitted that the victim trusted him completely and felt safe with him but that he betrayed that trust," the document said.The defendants at one point fled to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where Lathem went to the Lake Geneva public library and made a $1,000 cash donation to the library in the victim's name, the document said.Lathem's attorney, Barry Sheppard, told ABC News today, "We are representing a brilliant scientist who at this point we believe is innocent."Sheppard said Lathem has not yet entered a plea but plans to plead
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  • ABC News(STEUBENVILLE, Ohio) -- A judge in Ohio underwent surgery after he was shot in an ambush-style attack outside a courthouse this morning, authorities said.Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was shot and injured outside the Jefferson County courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio, after a suspect ran up to him and started shooting, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said.Steubenville city manager James Mavromatis told ABC News a probation officer returned fire.The suspect died at the scene, Abdalla said."He's shooting and shooting," Abdalla said at a news conference. "He's right up to the judge. And that's when he fires another round and he shoved the judge over and then he takes off running towards his vehicle."The judge's condition was not immediately clear, Mavromatis said."This individual laid in wait, for our judge, and ... it just hurts. First thing on a Monday morning," the sheriff said emotionally. "You have a judge shot in front of his courthouse, and that affected me. ... This was ambush and attempted murder on our judge.""Thank God he's not that good a shot," the sheriff said.Abdalla said a passenger in the man's car is not considered a suspect at this time but is being questioned."He didn't get out of the car," Abdalla said. "Supposedly according to him, he wasn't aware what this guy was going to do."The courthouse was closed until further notice, according to the sheriff's office.The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation assigned its special investigations, crime scene and cyber units to the investigation, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement.DeWine added that he and his wife "are praying for Judge Bruzzese and his family at this difficult time."This story is developing. Please check back for more updates
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  • ABC News.(NEW YORK) -- A historic total solar eclipse arced across the United States from west to east Monday, as millions of people who had gathered in its relatively narrow "path of totality" watched in awe.The total solar eclipse, which is the first to traverse the continental United States in decades, first made contact over Lincoln City, Oregon. Crowds of people donning special-purpose solar filters cheered and roared as the moon completely blocked the sun and cast a 70-mile wide shadow stretching from Oregon to South Carolina.For brief moments, the sky over various U.S. cities plunged into darkness and temperatures dropped as much as 12 degrees. The sun's outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by glare, appeared as a ring of ethereal white wisps around the moon while it blocked the solar surface.In areas with clear skies, bright stars and planets appeared in the darkened daytime sky. And as the sun reemerged from behind the moon, it created an astonishing "diamond ring" effect.A total solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the sun and Earth, an occurrence that lasts up to three hours from beginning to end. Monday's total solar eclipse is particularly rare because it's the first time in 99 years that the path of totality exclusively crosses the continental United States from coast to coast. It's also the first continent-wide eclipse to be visible only from the United States since 1776.The last time the contiguous United States saw a total solar eclipse was Feb. 26, 1979, when the path of totality crossed the Pacific Northwest. ABC News' Frank Reynolds anchored a special report on the celestial phenomenon at the time and pledged that the network would cover the next total solar eclipse in 2017.“So that’s it -- the last solar eclipse to be seen on this continent in this century. And as I said not until Aug. 21, 2017, will another eclipse be visible from North America. That’s 38 years from now. May the shadow of the moon fall on a world in peace. ABC News, of course, will bring you a complete report on that next eclipse 38 years from now,” Reynolds said before signing off.From 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET to 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET, ABC News' David Muir will lead the network's live coverage of the astronomical event from within the path of totality.You must be in the path of totality to witness a total solar eclipse. NASA estimates more than 300 million people in the United States could potentially view the total solar eclipse in its entirety.However, a partial solar eclipse will be visible in every U.S. state. In fact, everyone in North America, as well as parts of South America, Africa and Europe, will see at least a partial eclipse, according to NASA.The path of totality for Monday's solar eclipse is a 70-mile-wide ribbon that will cross the United States from west to east, sweeping over portions of 14 U.S. states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.The moon's shadow started to eclipse the sun over the West Coast just after 9 a.m. PT. From there, it will speed across the country and leave the East Coast just after 4 p.m. ET.The exact times for partial and total phases of Monday's eclipse vary depending on your location.With millions of people pouring into the select U.S. cities located within the path of totality, law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospitals there are on high alert."It's all hands on deck," Kentucky's Madisonville Police Chief Wade Williams told ABC News. "We're kind of throwing everything at it."The state of Oregon alone anticipated a million visitors Monday, causing some local hospitals to cancel elective surgeries and call in extra help for the emergency rooms. Some cities even preemptively declared a state of disaster, a move that allows them to call in the National Guard to help direct the large crowds if needed."If a police department in a certain area is overwhelmed
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  • ABC News(AUSTIN, Texas) -- The University of Texas at Austin is removing four Confederate monuments that it says have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism, the school announced on Sunday.The university said the monuments -- which honor four figures tied to the Confederacy -- were erected during the period of segregation and “represent the subjugation of African Americans” and therefore should be taken down.The statues -- which depict confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston, former U.S. Sen. John Reagan and former Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg -- were taken down early Monday morning.The news comes in the wake of a deadly outbreak of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia -- which began in protest of the planned removal of a monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee -- that left one dead and 19 injured after a car-ramming attack. Police arrested James Alex Fields, 20, and charged him with second-degree murder in the incident.“Last week, the horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation,” University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves said in a statement Sunday. “These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”Fenves said he spoke with faculty, students and alumni, and reviewed a 2015 task force report before making the decision.The bronze monuments of Lee, Reagan and Johnston will be relocated to the school’s Briscoe Center for American History for scholarly study, Fenves said. The statues of Hogg, governor of Texas from 1891 to 1895, will be considered for re-installation at another campus site, he added.“The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history,” Fenves said Sunday. “But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university’s core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres.”"We do not choose our history, but we choose what we honor and celebrate on our campus," he added.The school removed statues of Jefferson Davis and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson from campus back in 2015 after a deadly mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.Other Confederate monuments are being removed around the country under pressure from those who consider them symbols of racism and white supremacy.Four Confederate-era monuments were removed last week in Baltimore, Maryland, and the governors of Virginia and North Carolina requested the removal of Confederate monuments in their states.President Donald Trump, however, has pushed back against removing the Confederate symbols, calling it "changing history."“This week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” Trump said in a press conference last week.
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