• Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images, FILE(LOS ANGELES) -- Hundreds of faculty members at the University of Southern California have backed a motion for the school's president to resign over how he handled sexual-abuse allegations levied against a former campus doctor.The letter, obtained by ABC Los Angeles station KABC on Tuesday, said USC President C.L. Max Nikias should step down because he mishandled complaints against a former campus gynecologist, Dr. George Tyndall.Two-hundred faculty members across 14 USC schools had signed the letter as of Tuesday evening, claiming Nikias lacked the "moral authority" to lead the university's investigation into the matter, according to KABC."President Nikias' actions and omissions amount to a breach of trust," the letter said. "He has lost all moral authority to lead the university, and in addition, to lead the investigation of institutional failures that allowed this misconduct to persist over several decades."The letter came in the wake of lawsuits filed against the school and Tyndall by current and former students who've accused the doctor of molesting patients for several decades. At least six women have sued the university alleging misconduct.One civil lawsuit claimed USC ignored complaints that Tyndall allegedly made crude remarks, took inappropriate photographs and groped patients to "satisfy his own prurient desires."Tyndall, who worked at a USC student health clinic for 30 years, denied wrongdoing in interviews with the Los Angeles Times.USC Board of trustees Chairman John Mork said the university's executive committee planned to support Nikias."We strongly support President Nikias’ implementation of a thorough and comprehensive action plan that addresses these issues and enables USC to continue exemplifying our Trojan Family values as we move forward," Mork said in a statement Tuesday. "We have zero tolerance for this conduct and will ensure that people are held accountable for actions that threaten the university student body and that do not reflect our culture of respect, care, and ethic."Nikias also issued a lengthy statement on the school's website laying out its action plan at the board’s request.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black woman in outer space, fell in love with science at an early age. Decades later, she's encouraging girls of all ages and backgrounds to engage in STEM education and is shedding insight on how to overcome obstacles.Her path to making history wasn't an easy one, but her love of science helped fuel her success.As a young girl in Chicago, she knew two things for sure: that she wanted to be an astronaut and that there were no black female astronauts."I grew up in the 1960s, and the United States didn’t have women astronauts," Jemison told ABC News. "There were no women of color in the astronaut program."She remembers looking up at the stars in wonder, which pushed her unwavering interest in science.She also said she remembers feeling privileged to have teachers and family members who believed in her dreams.As the youngest child, her days were filled by spending time in libraries studying science and astronomy."I was lucky enough to have teachers who taught me about Daniel Hale Williams and that Elijah McCoy built the cotton gin -- a black person -- I remember reading in books about the woman who did the original work on DNA, crystallography," she said.She would carry her childhood dream of being an astronaut with her as she pursued higher education, earning a bachelor's from Stanford University in 1977 and a doctorate in medicine from Cornell University in 1981.After serving as a Peace Corps medical officer in Sierra Leone and Liberia, she made the decision to apply for the opportunity she'd always dreamed of: a spot in the astronaut program.Not much had changed in regards to the program's diversity. There were still no black woman.In 1987, Jemison was one of 15 selected for the prestigious NASA program. And the first black woman chosen, five years later, became the first to reach outer space.Jemison encountered resistance and obstacles along the way but said she always remained true to her dreams and remained confident"Even though folks might doubt me, I didn't doubt myself," she explained.Her advice to younger girls today? Don't be fazed by those who try to limit your dreams."People can put obstacles in front of you, and you have a choice," she said. "You can sit there and try to make them change or you can go around it."After leaving the astronaut corps in 1993, she used her dynamic background and experience as an engineer, physician and astronaut to help educate, inspire and reach back into the community. Jemison is now collaborating with Bayer Crop Science on "Science Matters," a campaign aimed at encouraging kids of different ages and backgrounds to learn about agricultural science.There have been significant challenges in bringing STEM education to underserved communities and communities of color, Jemison said."The obstacles to achievements are usually not the kids -- it's the parents, it's the adults, it's the society around them,” she added.Jemison said she believes it's important for others to know minorities have always been woven into the fabric of the science community, even if their accomplishments aren’t widely noted, adding that exposure, expectation and experience are key to changing the narrative."We have been in science all along, even when people didn't want us involved," she said. "I want folks to understand that they have the right to be involved. They don't have to ask."Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Mario Tama/Getty Images(PUNA, Hawaii) -- The Puna Geothermal Venture in Hawaii is secure, and if lava did encroach on it the danger of a toxic gas release is "very low," authorities said.Hawaii Electric Light officials also confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday that even if lava destroyed the power plant, there's no danger of a blackout because it was taken offline after Kilauea began erupting on May 3.Older, diesel-powered plants have been brought online to provide electricity, Jim Kelly, a spokesman for HEL, told ABC News.Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Tom Travis said "the well field is as safe as we can get the well field.""The probability of anything happening if the lava enters the well field is very, very low," he added. The public "should feel pretty comfortable that there should be no untoward events from Puna Geothermal Venture. Assuming that the lava doesn't change its pattern or its flow. Each time it changes we have to re-evaluate and look at other issues."This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • WSYR(CAMILLUS, N.Y.) -- A 30-year-old man court-ordered to vacate his parents' home on Tuesday said he should be given more time to leave because of how much his parents "harassed" him about moving out.Michael Rotondo, of Camillus, New York, had been living rent-free in his parents' Syracuse-area home for eight years when a State Supreme Court judge ruled on Tuesday in his parents’ favor, ordering him to move out.Rotondo, who plans to appeal the decision, said he stopped speaking to his parents when they "alluded" to wanting him to leave the house in October, just one month after he lost custody and visitation rights of his son."I'm not bothering them by living here," Michael Rotondo said in an interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America." "It's little to no cost to them, and considering how that they've harassed me, I think it's the least that they should be required to do, which is just let me hang here a bit longer and use their hot water and electricity."By the end of October, Michael Rotondo said his parents were demanding he get a full-time job, health insurance and sessions with a therapist, but he said he "didn't need any of those things.""My parents alluded to the fact that they no longer wanted me living in the house, and I was devastated from the loss, and not seeing my son anymore," Rotondo said. "After that, I was like, 'I’m done with you guys.'"Mark and Christina Rotondo said they gave their son multiple notices to vacate and even offered him money to help him find a place of his own.Michael Rotondo admitted that he accepted the money, but used it for "other things.""I took it but with consideration for my plans, and how my finances interacted with those plans, I did use the money for other things, but I don’t regret that," he said. "I would have preferred to have kept the money and given it back to them ... but I had to use it, and that's just how it is."He also accused his parents of trying to "stir something up" to support their court case against him."Me and my father recently tried to occupy the same space at the same time ... so I said 'excuse me,' and he said, 'I will not excuse you, Michael,’” he said "He's just trying to stir something up so that he could get me to say something. It's my overwhelming belief that he’s trying to make it so that he could try and call the police or something to support his case."Michael Rotondo had asked for six months to vacate, but the judge disagreed.He said he was shocked by the ruling and that he couldn't believe the judge would "make it so that these people can just throw me out instead of letting me stay here."Michael Rotondo also addressed critics, including some in his own neighborhood, who claim he wants to live rent-free forever."I don't like living here at all," he said. "My parents and myself are like two parties that don’t speak the same language.""It's a very serious thing to me to get out, but I have rights, and that's really what it boils down to. I just want a little more time to get out of here."Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Jose Jimenez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sunday marked eight months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and about 14,500 people there still don't have electricity.Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority said that number represents less than 1 percent of energy customers with access to power.PREPA set a goal of providing power to 100 percent of customers before May 31.The Army Corps of Engineers, which had been restoring access to the grid, handed those duties back to PREPA on Friday.Hurricane season starts in 10 days.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(PARAMUS) -- The driver of the school bus involved in a deadly highway crash in New Jersey last week had a lengthy history of license suspensions and moving violations, according to a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission spokesperson.The driver, identified as 77-year-old Hudy Muldrow Sr., has a valid driver's license that's not currently suspended. He has no active points and has the appropriate commercial license to drive a school bus.However, the spokesperson for the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission told ABC-owned station WABC-TV Tuesday that since getting his driver's license in 1975, Muldrow had a total of 14 suspensions, eight speeding tickets, a careless driving ticket and a ticket for an improper turn in 2010. He began driving school buses in 2013The license was most recently suspended in December 2017 for parking violations in Jersey City. His license was restored in January.The suspensions also included two in January 2012 -- one for unpaid parking tickets and one for being an uninsured driver, either having no insurance or a canceled registration.Seven of the eight speeding tickets were for two points, which means he was driving 14 mph over the speed limit or less, the spokesperson said. The eighth speeding ticket occurred in 1989 and was for four points -- driving 15-29 mph over the limit.His most recent speeding violation occurred in 2001.Muldrow's other violations included a December 2010 improper lane change, for improper operation on a highway with marked lanes in North Bergen, a March 2009 careless-driving offense in Fair Lawn, and a January 1977 violation for an improper turn.At least one incident involved a crash, but Muldrow's role in the crash was unclear, according to the spokesperson.Muldrow's son, Hudy Muldrow Jr., told NJ.com that his father was OK and was a good driver."That's the truth," he said.When Hudy Muldrow Jr. was asked about his father's driving violations, he said: "I don't know anything about that. I have nothing else to say."On Thursday, a student and a teacher from East Brook Middle School in Paramus, New Jersey, were killed when the bus driven by Hudy Muldrow Sr. collided with a dump truck and slammed off a New Jersey highway, authorities said. The bus was filled with fifth-graders.Authorities were investigating whether the school bus driver had made an illegal U-turn before the deadly crash, officials told ABC News.East Brook Middle School identified the victims as Miranda Vargas and Jennifer Williamson, a teacher, in a post on its Facebook page.Miranda, 10, was a fifth-grader and Williamson had taught at the school for 20 years, according to WABC-TV.Photos from the scene showed the bus on its side in the median of Route 80 near Mount Olive Township, about 50 miles west of New York City.David Fried, an attorney representing the Miranda Vargas's family, said on Tuesday that he had filed a notice of claim against Paramus and the Paramus School Board.Hudy Muldrow Sr.'s "driving record raises a lot of questions and potential areas we have to explore. ... As well as the negligence in allowing him to drive children," Fried said.No charges have been filed, and the case is still under active investigation, authorities told ABC News.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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