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  • Ron Galella Ltd./WireImage(NEW YORK) -- The Rev. Billy Graham, one of the world's most famous Christian evangelists, has died, a family spokesman said Wednesday. He was 99.Graham died at his North Carolina home Wednesday morning, spokesman Mark DeMoss said.At a press briefing Wednesday night, DeMoss said Graham -- whose body he said is currently at Morris Funeral Home in Asheville, North Carolina -- was not in the company of any family members when he died. DeMoss said Graham died in his sleep, and that an attendant nurse would have been the only person with him.DeMoss said Graham's body is slated to move Thursday afternoon to the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville. A private family prayer service will be held Saturday morning. Beginning Monday, for at least two days, Graham's body will lie in repose at the Graham family home.Then next Friday, a 90-minute funeral will be held at which his son Franklin Graham will speak, in addition to his other children. The hymns chosen for the funeral are some of Graham's favorite. In fact, he personally approved the details of the service years ago.After the funeral, Graham's body will be buried at a cross-shaped brick walkway in the northeast side of the Billy Graham Library, next to his wife Ruth, who was buried in 2007. The interment will be private and family-only. Casket was made by inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary prison in Angola. Invitations have been extended to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as well as living ex-presidents, DeMoss said.Known as "America's pastor," Graham was a key figure in the revival of the U.S. evangelical Christian movement. The preacher began holding revival meetings in the 1940s and went on to become an adviser to several U.S. presidents.He had been in poor health in recent years, and had turned his international ministry over to son Franklin Graham. Graham did not have cancer, despite reports claiming otherwise, his spokesman said. Despite numerous hospitalizations in recent years, Graham's work remained in the public eye late into his life. In 2011, around his 93rd birthday, he released what The Associated Press said was his 30th book, "Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well," on the subject of aging. Also in 2011, audio files documenting six decades of his ministry were put online in a searchable database.Graham brought evangelical Christianity into the mainstream. As a spiritual adviser to U.S. presidents, he had great access to the White House."Each one I've known long before they ever became president, been in their homes many times; always called them by their first names, until they became president," Graham said of several former presidents.He was especially close to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and both Bushes.Bill Clinton turned to him after his much publicized sex scandal, and George W. Bush credited Graham with helping him to quit drinking alcohol.When asked how his life would be different if it were not for Billy Graham, George W. Bush said simply, "I wouldn't be president."Donald and Melania Trump met Graham at the preacher's 95th birthday party in 2013, but they never met after Trump took office as president.The evangelist brought his "Billy Graham Crusades" around the world, preaching to more than 210 million people in 185 countries and territories. His largest such gathering drew 1 million people in Seoul, South Korea, in the 1970s. As Graham prepared at age 86 for what he called his final U.S. crusade, a three-day event in New York City the weekend of June 25, 2005, he pondered his own mortality."Do I fear death?" he asked at a news conference. "No. I look forward to death with great anticipation. I'm looking forward to seeing God face to face, and that could happen any day."Graham was met with criticism in February 2002, when audiotapes released by the National Archives revealed a 1972 conversation with Nixon at the White House in which Graham said Jewish pe
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(WHITTIER, Calif.) -- Two AR-15s and 90 high-capacity magazines were found at the home of a "disgruntled" teenager who was allegedly overheard threatening a school shooting, the Los Angeles County Sheriff said.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- The wife of a Chicago police commander killed last week during a foot chase in the heart of the city has written a powerful letter to the city and country.Erin Bauer, the wife of slain commander Paul Bauer, described the emotion of seeing the city turn out in force to show their support for her husband on the day of his funeral. Her letter was released by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.“Our hearts are broken in a million pieces and our lives are forever changed,” she wrote. “But that’s not the reason I am writing. I am writing to thank the people of Chicago for the outpouring of love and support at this horrendous time in our lives.”She went on, “I want to thank those of you who waited for hours in the cold to attend his wake and funeral. There were families with small children waiting in the bitter cold to say a prayer, hold a homemade sign or wave a flag.”“I saw each and every one of you from the darkened window of my car,” she added, referencing the hundreds of people who stood on overpasses and along roadways to watch the funeral procession.Bauer was shot six times in a stairwell at the city’s Thompson Center last week by convicted felon Shomari Legghette following a foot chase that started when officers on a narcotics patrol approached the suspect.Bauer was sitting in his squad car nearby, waiting to attend a meeting at City Hall when he heard calls for assistance over the police radio and responded.Legghette has been charged with first-degree murder of a police officer and is being held without bond.“One man almost stole my faith in humanity, but the city of Chicago and the rest of the nation restored it, and I want to thank you for that,” Bauer concluded in her letter.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Joe Raedle/Getty Images(PARKLAND, Fla.) -- Among those who lost their lives in a mass shooting at a Florida high school last week was Christopher Hixon, the school's athletic director and head wrestling coach.Hixon, 49, will be laid to rest on Wednesday.“If you needed anything -- a cup of sugar in the middle of the night -- he would bring it to you," Coral Springs High School Athletic Director Dan Jacob told ABC News. "Chris has a son with Down syndrome. He put needs of everyone else before his own."“Coach Hixon, for me, was a father figure,” said wrestler Karlos Valentin, the Sun Sentinel reported. "His loss was just terrible.""He was such a sweet guy,” wrestler Ray Corniel said, according to the newspaper. "He would bring us food for all our tournaments and take care of us like we were his own children and just watch over us, let us learn about life lessons."Seventeen were killed and more than a dozen others were injured in the Valentine's Day rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The suspect, a former student, was arrested. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A stalled frontal boundary continues to bring flooding rain, severe storms, freezing rain and snow from Texas to Michigan. More than 5 inches of rain have been reported in parts of the Midwest over the last 24 hours, sending many rivers into major flooding.Some Midwest rivers, such as the Kankakee River in Indiana, are expected to be in record flood stage this weekend.On Wednesday morning, 28 states from Oregon to Maine are under winter weather alerts.The storm system stretches from Texas to Michigan on Wednesday morning, with ice and snow on the back side from northern Texas to Michigan and heavy rain ahead of it from eastern Texas to Ohio.The stalled weather pattern will continue to bring more rain on Thursday from Texas into Ohio Valley and a rain-snow mix in the Northeast. At the same time, a new storm system will bring snow to the western Great Lakes and the Upper Midwest.The stormy weather will continue into Friday, and more rain is expected from Texas through the Ohio Valley.Rainfall totals will be heavy from Texas into the Ohio Valley, as 4 to 6 additional inches are possible locally. Snow is possible for the Great Plains and western Great Lakes, where some areas could see another half a foot of snow.Some snow is also possible in the Northeast from western New York and Pennsylvania into New England and maybe even Boston.February heatDozens of daily record highs were set across the East, including a lot of the all-time record highs for February. Tampa (89 degrees), Louisville (82), Indianapolis (77), Pittsburgh (78) and Cincinnati (79) all set February records on Tuesday.On Wednesday, more all-time February record highs are possible in the East, where the forecast for New York City is 72 degrees, Boston is forecast at 69 degrees, and Philadelphia is projected at 77 degrees. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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