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Boy Scout's toy grenade prompts evacuation, delays at Houston’s Hobby Airport 

A Boy Scout’s toy grenade was the “suspicious device” behind the evacuation of the security checkpoint at Houston’s Hobby Airport early Thursday, KPRC reports.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 7:01 a.m. EDT June 7: A Boy Scout’s toy grenade prompted the evacuation of Hobby Airport’s TSA checkpoint, Houston police said Thursday morning.

According to KPRC, the 17-year-old was detained after security screeners found the toy in his bag. 

“No word on any penalties,” KPRC tweeted.

The airport has reopened the checkpoint and allowed travelers back into the area.

“Now might be a good time for a gentle reminder that there are items you CANNOT bring through security checkpoints,” the airport tweeted, along with a list of TSA-approved items.

Update 6:43 a.m. EDT June 7: The suspicious device has been removed, the airport tweeted just after 6:30 a.m. EDT Thursday.

“Device has been removed, and TSA is re-opening the checkpoint and working to resume passenger screening,” Hobby Airport tweeted. “Expect some delays through security, and as always check with your carrier to see if your flight has been impacted.”

Passenger Michael Oder tweeted a photo from the scene.

“Looks like things are clearing,” he wrote.

Update 6:26 a.m. EDT June 7: The airport confirmed the news in a tweet just after 6 a.m. EDT Thursday.

“The TSA security line has been closed due to a suspicious device being found during screening,” the airport tweeted. “Please check with your carrier to see if your flight is being impacted by this delay. We will post updates as they become available.”

One traveler tweeted that passengers had to evacuate the airport but were let back in:

>> Read more trending news 

Delta plane evacuated in Denver after smoke fills cabin

Passengers were evacuated from a Delta Air Lines plane Tuesday night after smoke was reported in the cabin.

>> RELATED STORY: Southwest Airlines plane, pickup truck collide at Baltimore's BWI Airport

According to KDVR, 146 passengers were on board the MD-90, which was traveling from Detroit to Denver, the Atlanta-based airline said. The evacuations occurred after the MD-90 landed at Denver International Airport just after 8 p.m. local time, the airline said.

>> RELATED STORY: Passenger killed in Southwest Airlines emergency landing identified

"After arrival in Denver and during taxi to the gate, Delta Flight 1854 from Detroit to Denver stopped on a taxiway where customers deplaned via slides and over-wing exits due to an observance of smoke in the cabin," Delta said in a statement, KDVR reported. "Airport response vehicles met the aircraft out of an abundance of caution and customers were transported to the terminal via buses. The safety of Delta's customers and crew is our top priority and we apologize for the concern this situation has caused."

>> Read more trending news 

At least one person was injured and taken to the hospital, officials told KUSA.

Read more here or here.

Southwest Airlines plane, pickup truck collide at Baltimore's BWI Airport

A truck struck a Southwest Airlines plane Monday morning at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, multiple news outlets are reporting.

>> RELATED STORY: Southwest Airlines cancels dozens of flights amid inspections after deadly engine failure

According to WJLA, none of the 172 passengers on Southwest Flight 6263 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were hurt when the pickup hit the plane, which was heading to its gate about 1:30 a.m. EDT. Those on board "were being assisted off the plane," WJLA reported.

Officials did not say whether the truck driver was hurt, WTOP reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The airline apologized to passengers who took to social media to complain when the incident put a snag in their travel plans.

"We're so sorry for the trouble tonight in Baltimore," the airline responded to one user who tweeted that it had been a "crazy couple of weeks" for Southwest. "We appreciate your patience, and our Team will do everything they can to get you all on your way as soon as possible."

>> RELATED STORY: Passenger killed in Southwest Airlines emergency landing identified

The incident comes less than one month after a Southwest passenger died when a plane with a damaged engine and broken window made an emergency landing in Philadelphia.

Read more here or here.

Railroads offering new hires up to $25K in signing bonuses, report says

Want to work on the railroad? If so, you could get your bank account on the right track with a massive bonus.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Texas-based BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) Railway and Nebraska-based Union Pacific Corp. are trying to attract new employees by offering as much as $25,000 in signing bonuses.

>> Read more trending news 

The news comes "as the freight railroads struggle to fill jobs in a historically tight labor market," the Journal reported.

"Freight volumes are rising on strong economic growth and industrial expansion, and a shortage of available truck capacity is pushing more shipments onto rails," the report continued.

Check out the railroads' job listings here or here.

Read the complete Wall Street Journal story here.

Delta passenger with multiple sclerosis says airline employees tied her to wheelchair

A woman with multiple sclerosis says Delta Air Lines employees tied her to her wheelchair because she can’t sit up on her own and they didn’t have the chair she needed.

>> Watch the news report here

Maria Saliagas travels to Europe with her husband every year. When she was diagnosed with MS five years ago, she didn’t want to break her tradition of traveling with her husband.

>> Southwest Airlines cancels dozens of flights amid inspections after deadly engine failure

She said Delta normally accommodates her by making sure staff members have a proper wheelchair that has straps to help her sit up straight.

When she flew out of Atlanta on April 1 and arrived in Amsterdam, Delta didn’t have a chair with straps, so employees tied her to a regular wheelchair with someone else’s blanket, said her son, Nathan Saliagas.

>> Memorial service held for woman killed during Southwest Airlines flight

“They took a dirty blanket and tied her forcefully with it, and she has bruise marks on part of her arm because it was so tight and she started crying. That’s when that picture was taken,” Saliagas said.

A Delta representative sent WSB-TV a statement about the incident, saying: 

“We regret the perception our service has left on these customers. We have reached out to them, not only to resolve their concerns, but also ensure that their return flight exceeds expectations.”

>> Read more trending news 

The family returns to Atlanta on April 30.

When the family complained to Delta, they said the airline offered them 20,000 free SkyMiles, but they said that's not enough. 

They want to see a policy change regarding how Delta handles passengers with disabilities.

Southwest Airlines cancels dozens of flights amid inspections after deadly engine failure

Southwest Airlines said it canceled about 40 flights Sunday as it inspects engine fan blades in the wake of an engine failure last week that led to one passenger’s death.

>> Memorial service held for woman killed during Southwest Airlines flight

That’s about 1 percent of Dallas-based Southwest’s daily schedule of nearly 4,000 flights. The airline encouraged passengers to check their flight status. “We anticipate minimal delays or cancellations each day due to the inspections,” Southwest said in a written statement.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines has the same type of engines on the Boeing 737s in its fleet and is also adding ultrasonic inspections of the engines, but said it doesn’t expect any operational impact to customers.

>> Who was Jennifer Riordan, the passenger killed on a Southwest Airlines flight?

Both airlines last week, in advance of the Federal Aviation Administration’s official release of an emergency airworthiness directive, said they would accelerate the inspections.

The FAA on Friday issued the anticipated directive requiring airlines to inspect fan blades on certain engines within 20 days. The directive draws from information gathered in the investigation of Southwest’s engine failure last Tuesday. The FAA said the inspection requirement is estimated to affect 352 engines in the United States and 681 engines worldwide.

>> Passenger killed in Southwest Airlines emergency landing identified

The CFM56-7B engine that blew on the Southwest flight showed evidence of “metal fatigue,” according to the National Transportation Safety Board. That engine model is on all of Southwest’s 737-700s and 737-800s, which make up the vast majority of Southwest’s fleet.

>> Read more trending news 

Delta has a fleet of about 185 Boeing 737s with the engines, out of a fleet of more than 800 planes of various types.

‘Tell my mom that I love her if I die,’ teen pleads as van seat fatally crushes him 

Two 911 calls show that a Cincinnati teenager pleaded for help as he was crushed to death by the seat in his van Tuesday afternoon in a parking lot near his school. 

Kyle Jacob Plush, 16, was found dead by his father about six hours after he made the first 911 call, according to WCPO in Cincinnati. A preliminary autopsy report indicated that he died of asphyxia due to compression of his chest. 

His death was ruled accidental.

“At this time, there is no indication of foul play or evidence of a drug overdose,” Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said in a written statement. “Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of Kyle.”

>> Read more trending news

Sammarco’s statement did not offer details of how Plush was crushed, but Honda in November recalled 800,000 Odyssey minivans because the vehicle’s second row seats can tip forward if not properly latched. The recall was for vans from 2011 to 2017.

Plush’s van was a Honda Odyssey, though the year was not immediately known. 

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters confirmed to WCPO in Cincinnati that Plush died of positional asphyxiation when he became trapped in a seat, but Deters said it was the van’s third-row bench seat. 

His office is investigating the incident to determine exactly how Plush’s death occurred.

“We are actively trying to identify experts to assist us in this investigation,” Deters told the news station

Officials with the city of Cincinnati and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office are also investigating why dispatchers, police officers and deputies were unable to find Plush in time to save his life.  

Audio of Plush’s 911 calls, which have not been released by the media due to their graphic nature, indicated that he became increasingly desperate as his condition deteriorated. In the first call, placed shortly after 3 p.m., the teen was gasping for air as he screamed repeatedly for help, saying he was stuck inside his van “at Seven Hills.”

Plush was a sophomore at Seven Hills School, a private academy for grades pre-K through 12. He died in a parking lot near the school’s Hillsdale campus. 

“I can’t hear you,” Plush told the dispatcher, according to WCPO. “I need help. I’m gonna die here.”

The dispatcher either could not hear him clearly or did not understand what he was trying to say. She asked, over and over, “Where are you? What is the address?”

“I probably don’t have much time left, so tell my mom that I love her if I die,” the teen said.

A timeline established by the news station indicates that Plush got disconnected about six or seven minutes after he placed his first call. Officers who were dispatched when that call ended tried calling him back, but the call went to voicemail. 

When they did not get a response, the officers marked their assignment complete, the WCPO timeline said. 

In his second call, Plush again made it clear that he knew he was dying. 

“This is not a joke. I’m trapped inside my gold Honda Odyssey van in the parking lot of Seven Hills Hillsdale.”

“Send officers immediately. I’m almost dead.” 

As the second call ended, Plush appeared to struggle to breathe. 

Throughout the second call, Plush could be asking, “Hey, Siri?” It appeared that he used the iPhone voice command to call 911. 

Investigators did not say where in the van they found the teen’s phone. 

It was also unclear when Plush’s second call, which lasted about three minutes, was placed. 

A Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy working a traffic detail at Seven Hills responded to the calls about 10 minutes after city officers marked their assignment complete and 32 minutes after Plush’s first call for help, WCPO reported

The deputy was also unable to find Plush’s van, and though he continued searching, he questioned whether the calls had been a prank. 

The dispatcher pointed out that she put in the 911 system that the caller could be in a thrift store parking lot across the street from the school, Fox19 in Cincinnati reported.  

“I was in there. I just looked in a van over there. I didn’t see anybody in it,” the deputy said, according to the news station

It was not clear if the van the deputy found was Plush’s minivan. 

Plush’s mother, identified by his elementary school as Jill Plush, also called 911 Tuesday evening after she and his father, Ron, determined he was missing.

“My son never came home from school,” Jill Plush said, according to Fox19. “We thought he was at a tennis match, and he never came home from school.”

The parent of one of Kyle Plush’s friends wrote in a Facebook post that the match was to be the teen’s first.

“He had been on the practice squad of the tennis team and was due to play in his first match yesterday,” Jackie Taggart-Boyd wrote. “He didn’t show up. Hours later, they discovered him.” 

Taggart-Boyd indicated that Plush had a physical disability, but did not specify what that disability was. She said it never stopped the teen from trying everything. 

She said her son, Spencer, described his friend as the “most positive person he ever met.”

“I can tell you that Spencer spoke of Kyle often,” the distraught parent wrote. “I only met him a couple of times, but every time Spencer told me a Kyle story, he ended it with, ‘I LOVE Kyle!’”

A Seven Hills School spokesperson said in a statement that Plush started attending the school in the sixth grade. 

“He was a young man of keen intelligence, good humor and great courage, and this whole community feels this loss very deeply,” the statement read. 

A classmate, Preston Luniewski, told WLWT-TV that Plush was a “spectacular” person. 

“He just lit up the classroom,” Luniewski said. “He would always be in class, paying attention, really productive in that environment.”

Counselors were called in to help students and staff cope with the loss.

The teen’s elementary school, Mercy Montessori, is hosting a community prayer gathering in his memory Thursday night. 

“Some of our older children have siblings who are currently in high school and have been contacting me throughout the day looking for a place to gather,” Patty Normile, principal of the school, wrote on the school website. “We will use the strength of prayer, compassion and empathy to help our Mercy students, alumni family and friends.”

Normile wrote that besides his parents, Plush also has a sister in the seventh grade. 

 

Naked man assaults D.C. train passengers, police say

A nude man reportedly assaulted two Metro passengers in Washington, D.C., early Thursday, police said.

According to WRC-TV, nobody suffered serious injuries in the incident, which occurred about 6 a.m. at the Dupont Circle station.

>> Read more trending news 

Police reportedly have arrested the man, whom a Metro spokesperson described as "naked and disorderly."

A bystander recorded video of the man attacking a passenger, WTTG reported.

A "couple of riders say they jumped in, held the man down until police arrived!" tweeted WTTG reporter Annie Yu.

Read more here or here.

Delta, Sears, Kmart data breach: Customer payment info possibly compromised in cyberattack

Update Apr 5, 2018 3:45 PM EDT: In addition to Delta Airlines, Sears Holdings announced that customer data from Sears and Kmart stores, including names, addresses and credit card numbers, may have been exposed during a security breach last fall.

>> Read more trending news 

Sears Holdings uses the same online chat service as Delta, [24]7.ai, and said in a statement posted on its website that it believes fewer than 100,000 customers were affected by the breach.

“As soon as [24]7.ai informed us in mid-March 2018, we immediately notified the credit card companies to prevent potential fraud, and launched a thorough investigation with federal law enforcement authorities, our banking partners, and IT security firms,” company officials said.

Sears Holdings said the credit card information of customers making purchases online between Sept. 27, 2017 and Oct. 12, 2017, may have been compromised, but that anyone using a Sears credit card was not affected.

The company said there’s no evidence its stores were compromised or that Sears’ internal data bases were compromised.

Sears Holdings is establishing a hotline for customers to find out more about the breach by Friday.

(Previous story)

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is the latest victim of a cyber incident.

>> Watch the news report here

Delta announced Wednesday that a "small subset" of customers may have had their payment information compromised online.

"(I’m) a little uneasy. I think they'll take care of it, so it will be OK, but the first gut reaction is a little nerve-racking," traveler Nicole Ladin told WSB-TV's Carl Willis at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Delta's main hub. 

>> Visit WSBTV.com for the latest on this developing story

According to Delta, [24]7.ai, an online chat service they use, was hacked from Sept. 26 to Oct. 12 of last year, and payment information may have been compromised.

Delta said the airline was notified about the breach last Wednesday.

"It's just ... I think they have to make it 100 percent, to make it work 100 percent," traveler Marquise Bishop said.

Delta said the company will launch a special webpage at Delta.com/response at noon Thursday to address customer questions and concerns.

>> Read more trending news 

The airline also will start directly contacting customers who may have been impacted and ensure that customers are not responsible for any fraudulent payment card activity that may have happened.

Ladin told Willis that her mind will still be on her wallet as she flies home.

"Especially when you're a frequent flier. It gets a little nervous that that information has been leaked," Ladin said.

Here's is Delta's full statement about the cyber incident: 

"Last week, on March 28, Delta was notified by [24]7.ai, a company that provides online chat services for Delta and many other companies, that [24]7.ai had been involved in a cyber incident. It is our understanding that the incident occurred at [24]7.ai from Sept. 26 to Oct. 12, 2017, and that during this time certain customer payment information for [24]7.ai clients, including Delta, may have been accessed – but no other customer personal information, such as passport, government ID, security or SkyMiles information was impacted.

"Upon being notified of [24]7.ai's incident, Delta immediately began working with [24]7.ai to understand any potential impact the incident had on Delta customers, delta.com, or any Delta computer system. We also engaged federal law enforcement and forensic teams, and have confirmed that the incident was resolved by [24]7.ai last October. At this point, even though only a small subset of our customers would have been exposed, we cannot say definitively whether any of our customers' information was actually accessed or subsequently compromised.

"We appreciate and understand that this information is concerning to our customers. The security and confidentiality of our customers' information is of critical importance to us and a responsibility we take extremely seriously. Delta will launch delta.com/response, a dedicated website, noon ET April 5, which we will update regularly to address customer questions and concerns. We will also directly contact customers who may have been impacted by the [24]7.ai cyber incident. In the event any of our customers' payment cards were used fraudulently as a result of the [24]7.ai cyber incident, we will ensure our customers are not responsible for that activity."

>> Click here for more information from [24]7.ai

Georgia’s new distracted driving law: What’s legal, what’s not?

The Hands-Free Georgia Act takes effect July 1. The law will require drivers to use hands-free technology when using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. But “hands free” isn’t as clear cut as it sounds. Here’s a look at what would and would not be allowed.

Prohibited

*Holding or supporting, with any part of the body, a wireless telecommunications device or stand-alone electronic device (for example, an iPod).

*Writing, sending or reading any text-based communication, including a text message, instant message, e-mail or internet data while holding your device.

*Watching a video or movie other than watching data related to the navigation of your vehicle (i.e., your mapping app or GPS screen).

*Recording a video.

RELATED: With Ga. hands-free driving law, Cobb cities plan to nix their versions

Allowed

*Speaking or texting while using hands-free technology.

*Using a GPS system or mapping app.

*Wearing and using a smart watch.

*Using an earpiece to talk on the phone.

*Using radios, CB radios, CB radio hybrids, commercial two-way radios, subscription-based emergency communication devices, prescribed medical devices, amateur or ham radios and “in-vehicle security, navigation or remote diagnostics” systems.

*There are circumstances where you can handle an electronic device while driving: Reporting a traffic accident, medical emergency, fire, a crime or delinquent act or a hazardous road condition. You can also use your hands if you’re lawfully parked (not at a stoplight – “lawfully” means off or beside the road in an area open to parking).

*Some people are exempt from the hands-free requirement if they’re performing official duties: police, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, ambulance drivers, other first responders and utility employees or contractors responding to a utility emergency.

You can learn more about the law at myajc.com.

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