• ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A major storm is forecast to produce the first blizzard of the season for the Dakotas and Minnesota Thursday night and Friday.As the storm strengthens over the Plains, gusty winds are expected to produce near white-out conditions for the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota on Friday. Up to one foot of snow is possible in northern Minnesota, according to forecasts.In addition, winds will be gusting between 40 to 50 mph with blowing snow in western Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas on Friday. The National Weather Service said travel in the area Friday is not advised.Wintry weather has also started to creep in across other parts of the country. The first snow of the season is currently falling over Salt Lake City, Utah.The first snow of the season also fell in Spokane, Washington, on Wednesday. Parts of Washington have already received more than 10 inches of snow.A total of 10 states from Idaho to Iowa are under some sort of snow warning, watch or advisory Thursday night and Friday.
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  • Drew Angerer/Getty Images(TRENTON, N.J.) — The engineer at the controls of a New Jersey Transit train that smashed into the Hoboken train station, killing one and injuring more than 100 back in September, had undiagnosed sleep apnea, according to sources familiar with a closed-door briefing for the New Jersey congressional delegation.Three sources with knowledge of the briefing confirmed to ABC News that the engineer, Thomas Gallagher, had undiagnosed sleep apnea that was only discovered after the crash.National Transportation Safety Board investigators have not yet determined the cause of the accident.The engineer in a 2013 commuter train accident that killed four and injured dozens in New York City also had sleep apnea and said he felt "dazed" as his train hurtled around a 30 mph curve at more than 80 mph, causing it to derail.The Metropolitan Transit Authority, the agency in charge of New York City's commuter trains and subway system, now requires screening for sleep apnea, a policy put in place in 2015."Sleep apnea is a medical disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts while a person is sleeping," the agency said in a statement announcing the required apnea screenings. "This results in insufficient sleep. Left untreated, someone with the disorder functions with reduced alertness and may involuntarily fall asleep. Those who are at risk for sleep apnea will be referred to medical treatment that can ensure they can do their jobs safely." Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(PRINCETON, Mass.) — Massachusetts detectives are seeking information on a dark-colored SUV seen by witnesses near the area where the body of a 27-year-old jogger was found in August.Vanessa Marcotte, who had been working for Google and living in New York City, was visiting her family in Princeton, Massachusetts when she stepped out for a jog and never returned.Police found her body in the woods not far from her family home.The vehicle was seen by witnesses "around the time the murder is thought to have occurred," and "was parked near where Ms. Marcotte’s body was found," police said in a statement released on Wednesday.Massachusetts State Police say they have received more than 1,000 tips related to the case and welcome any information about men with access to a dark-colored SUV around the time and the area of the murder.Investigators have said they believe that Marcotte may have struggled with her killer and that she was likely attacked between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Aug. 7 in the town of Princeton, about 60 miles west of Boston.Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Zoonar/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) — Onlookers rushed in to help after a hot air balloon came crashing down on a baseball field in Philadelphia with a pilot and three passengers."It's a perfect, normal, everyday balloon flight, with a normal, perfect landing in a perfect spot," the pilot, H.M. Steiger, told WPVI, an ABC affiliate.But footage captured at the scene painted a different picture.A group of people on a nearby basketball court and others sprinted over to help as the basket crashed to the ground and was being dragged across the park.Several good Samaritans held on to the basket of the 80-foot balloon to keep it from being blown onto nearby city streets.Police say the crew encountered strong winds during its flight, and was looking for the closest and safest place to land, WPVI reported."We're concerned because it's not really that safe, because C and West Moreland is in the city. This was not a pre-plannned landing destination," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told WPVI.Earlier, the crew snapped a picture at 17,500 feet, saying Wednesday's mission was to measure fuel consumption at different altitudes.The unexpected landing, on a small green space in the middle of city streets, power lines and row homes, left residents flummoxed."When I saw it out of the window in my room, I'm thinking, 'Oh my God,'" Yari Agosto told WPVI."The good thing was there are no kids in the park where it landed," said Berkys Beez.No injuries have been reported in the incident. The FAA is now investigating.
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  • Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Several hundred NYU students and some professors walked out of their classrooms on Wednesday in an effort to pressure school administrators to protect immigrant students from potential deportation under a Trump administration.The protestors gathered in Washington Square Park, and then ended their march at the school's Bobst Library, where a 10-minute moment of silence was staged.Tufts, Yale, Columbia, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Brown, Miami-Dade College, and other institutions across the country also held rallies to protest Trump and his tough stand on immigration, which may include the elimination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a policy passed by Obama that allows certain undocumented immigrants from deportation.The president-elect vowed to deport millions of undocumented immigrants from the U.S. in an interview with "60 Minutes" that aired on Sunday, saying that as many as 3 million people could be removed, focusing on those with criminal backgrounds.Trump has not explicitly said he wants to repeal DACA, but has said he wanted to get rid of some Obama executive orders.#Sanctuarycampus walkout at NYU ends with ten minutes of silence pic.twitter.com/JwTvQVcS6G
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  • Stephen Maturen/Getty Images(FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn.) -- The girlfriend of Philando Castile has said she believes the Minnesota police officer who shot and killed him should have been charged with murder instead of manslaughter."Murder to the highest extent of the law would be more suitable to this case because this was my best friend. This was my best friend," Diamond Reynolds said.St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez was charged on Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter in Castile's death. Ramsey County prosecutors also announced two additional felony counts of intentional discharge of a dangerous weapon that endangered the safety of the other two passengers in the car, Reynolds and her young daughter.Castile, a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker, was killed on July 6 during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, a suburb outside of St Paul. The aftermath of the shooting was broadcast live on Facebook by Reynolds.Reynolds said "nothing" can "fix the situation.""At the end of the day, none of that is going to bring my boyfriend back," she added.Reynolds said she believes she and Castile were "racially profiled" because they are black."If he were a white man, he would have been let go," Reynolds said of the fateful traffic stop. She pleaded with the public to not "forget Philando Castile."Castile's family said it was "pleased" that the officer who killed him was charged today. His mother, Valerie Castile, thanked prosecutors and asked that demonstrators keep any protests peaceful."I’m just glad that we have come to this chapter and it’s the beginning to a different chapter," Valerie Castile said in a press conference this afternoon. "We all hope and pray that the right thing is done in this issue and I just want to thank everybody for coming out."In the video broadcast on Facebook, Reynolds sits in the passenger seat of a car with Castile beside her in the driver's seat, his shirt apparently soaked with blood. Reynolds explains in the video that the officer "asked him for his license and registration."Reynolds says in the video that Castile told the officer that the documents were inside his wallet and informed the officer that he had a pistol on him. "The officer said, 'Don't move.' As he was putting his hands back up, the officer shot him in the arm four or five times," Reynolds explains in the video.A uniformed police officer can be seen in the video outside the car holding a gun. He is heard saying, "I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand out."Ramsey County Attorney John Choi noted in announcing the charges against Yanez that Castile's last words were that he was not reaching for the gun."Based upon our thorough and exhaustive review of the facts of this case, it is my conclusion that the use of deadly force by Officer Yanez was not justified and that sufficient facts exist to prove this to be true," Choi said at a press conference today. Castile had a legally permitted handgun with him, said Choi, adding that Castile "never attempted to reach for his gun."Dennis Flaherty, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, said he is "disappointed" with the decision to charge Yanez and that he expects the officer to enter a not-guilty plea."Police officers in Minnesota and across the country face pressure of life-and-death situations daily," Flaherty said. "No one can speak for Officer Yanez as to what he actually encountered and what he feared that evening. We hope all people can understand that and can refrain from judgment."Judge Glenda Hatchett, who is representing Castile's family in all civil matters, called the move to charge Yanez an "historic decision" in an "historic time.""We see this [as] historic for the benefit that it has for this community, but we also see it as an important signal to this nation because of the series of shootings that we have seen across this nation," Hatchett said.Castile's death prompted days of protests in Minnesota.In
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