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5 students help save suicidal man

“Your girls saved some guy’s life last night,” one coach said.December 19, 2019, 8:59 PM4 min read Five young girls in Arkansas are being praised for springing into action after spotting a man who appeared to be trying to take his own life. Allannah Orsby, A’niah Graves, Diamonique Reynolds, Jimaria Jackson and McKinna Robinson, ages…

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5 students help save suicidal man

“Your girls saved some guy’s life last night,” one coach said.

December 19, 2019, 8:59 PM

4 min read

Five young girls in Arkansas are being praised for springing into action after spotting a man who appeared to be trying to take his own life.

Allannah Orsby, A’niah Graves, Diamonique Reynolds, Jimaria Jackson and McKinna Robinson, ages 12 to 14, were on their way to Annie Camp Junior High in Jonesboro for their basketball game when they crossed a bridge and saw a man with cables, according to Vicki Montgomery, the head coach of the girl’s basketball team.

As they walked by, the man told them, “Y’all have a nice life,” Montgomery told ABC News in a telephone interview.

“They turned around and he was placing rope and cable over his neck,” Montgomery said.

The girls immediately called 911 and began talking to the man until help arrived.

“They got really scared,” Montgomery said. “They told him not to do that.”

Jonesboro police confirmed to ABC News that it was students who alerted officials to the man.

“When we see something, we need to say something if it is out of the ordinary,” police spokeswoman Sally Smith told ABC News.

Police said they could not say the status of the man at this time, but he was uninjured when they arrived and taken to a hospital.

Montgomery said the girls hadn’t told her about the incident, which occurred on Dec. 5, after it happened. It was another coach who came up to Montgomery the next day and said, “your girls saved some guy’s life last night.”

“They didn’t do it for publicity,” she said. “They did it because they genuinely cared about a person they didn’t know.”

She said the ordeal was an experience that has greatly affected them.

“Some of them struggle in life, as well. I think it opened their eyes to things that, at that age, most adults don’t even see,” Montgomery said.

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741. You can reach Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 (U.S.) or 877-330-6366 (Canada) and The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.


ABC News


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UNC shooting victim who was hailed a hero honored with ‘Star Wars’ character

Howell’s heroic efforts saved people’s lives, police said at the time.December 25, 2019, 1:33 PM4 min read Riley Howell, who was hailed a hero for sacrificing his life to protect others in the shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has been honored with a “Star Wars” character that was named after him.…

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UNC shooting victim who was hailed a hero honored with ‘Star Wars’ character

Howell’s heroic efforts saved people’s lives, police said at the time.

December 25, 2019, 1:33 PM

4 min read

Riley Howell, who was hailed a hero for sacrificing his life to protect others in the shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has been honored with a “Star Wars” character that was named after him.

Howell was killed on April 30 when a gunman opened fire inside one of the school’s buildings. He helped take the gunman off his feet and, in doing so, saved lives, police said at the time.

Howell’s legacy will carry on with the character, Ri-Lee Howell, who is a Jedi master and historian, according to “The Rise of Skywalker” visual dictionary, which was released on Dec. 20, the same day the latest film in the franchise came out.

The Jedi are described as guardians “of peace and justice” and “protectors united by their ability to harness the power of the Force,” according to Wookieepedia, a fan-run Stars Wars encyclopedia.

Lauren Westmoreland, Howell’s girlfriend, said Monday that the character was the perfect tribute for him.

“Riley is the biggest fan of Star Wars that I’ve ever known, ever since he was little!!!!!” Westmoreland posted on the video-sharing TikTok app.

“Thank you for giving my love this best Christmas gift this year and making him part of the Star Wars universe forever,” the post continued.

The video included baby photos of Howell playing with “Star Wars” figurines.

Howell was credited with taking the assailant “off his feet” during the shooting, allowing officers to step in and apprehend him, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said at the time.

Without him, “the assailant may not have been disarmed,” according to Putney.

“His sacrifice saved lives,” Putney said.

Another student, Ellis Parlier, 19, was also killed in the shooting and four more were wounded.


ABC News


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Memorial service to be held for slain teen to remember her ‘light’

In lieu of flowers, Blanchard’s family asks guests to donate to charities. December 21, 2019, 9:07 PM7 min read A memorial service was held for Aniah Blanchard on Saturday in Alabama, where relatives and loved ones remembered the “light” she brought to their lives. The ceremony at the Faith Chapel Christian Center in Birmingham was…

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Memorial service to be held for slain teen to remember her ‘light’

In lieu of flowers, Blanchard’s family asks guests to donate to charities.

December 21, 2019, 9:07 PM

7 min read

A memorial service was held for Aniah Blanchard on Saturday in Alabama, where relatives and loved ones remembered the “light” she brought to their lives.

The ceremony at the Faith Chapel Christian Center in Birmingham was a “celebration of life.”

The church was filled with dozens of Blanchard’s family, friends and members of her hometown of Homewood, where she attended their public schools and played high school softball.

Most of the mourners wore Blanchard’s favorite color, baby blue, which “fit her personality — bright, big and vast as the ocean,” a member of Homewood High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps said during their alternated flag-folding ceremony in her honor.

“It’s easy for me to talk about Aniah, she is my mini-me…I gave birth to her on my birthday,” said Blanchard’s heartbroken mother Angela Haley Harris. “She is the greatest gift to me.”

“This memorial service is a celebration of Aniah’s life and to commemorate who Aniah was and the impact her life and ‘light’ is having on the entire world,” according to the Facebook event page created for the service.

“Aniah was light, she made you feel okay when you look in her eyes,” said Noah Wail, Blanchard’s godbrother.

“She was my person I would talk to when I needed someone,” he added, wiping away a tear before playing a guitar tribute to the Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts The Most.”

Blanchard was studying early childhood education at Southern Union College with hopes of transferring to Auburn University.

“Aniah had a light that you wanted to be around. The light she had every day of her life is still here and is still being shared,” said Hannah Haley, Blanchard’s cousin.

“Aniah is my biggest fan. She would always tell me when it came to my career it will be okay, you gotta keep going,” said Walt Harris, Blanchard’s stepfather and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter. “So now I have to go strong for the other kids…Glad to have her in my life and how she had an impact on my life.”

Amy Letson, one of Blanchard’s softball coaches, shared an anecdote of that showed “Aniah’s beautiful spirit.” After a game, Blanchard told the losing team that “she was proud of them and she could tell they worked very hard,” Letson recalled.

“Together we learned to work together, work hard and be kind to others,” read Blanchard’s younger sister, Aylah, with her two older brothers by her side. “We are so happy you are our sissy.”

Bill Cleveland, superintendent of Homewood Public Schools, announced establishing a scholarship that will be made in Blanchard’s honor to continue the her legacy.

The family requested that in lieu of flowers, all donations be made in Blanchard’s name to: The Texas Equusearch Group, Children’s Hospital of Alabama or the Birmingham Human Society, in honor of her beloved dog “Blue.”

Throughout the over two-hour service, dozens of photographs from Blanchard’s life were displayed in a slideshow along with videos of her smile that brought comfort and peace, mourners said.

Blanchard was last seen at a convenience store in Auburn, Alabama, on Oct. 23. She was allegedly abducted by Ibraheem Yazeed, who authorities say shot her when she “went for the gun,” according to court documents.

The 19-year-old’s body was found shot to death on Nov. 25, approximately 36 miles away in a wooded area in Shorter.

A tipster led police to Yazeed, who was in Pensacola, Florida, authorities said. He was already out on $295,000 bond for a separate kidnapping case from January in Montgomery, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.

Yazeed, 30, is being charged with two counts of capital murder charges in connection with Blanchard’s death. Prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty.

David Johnson Jr., 63, and Antwon Fisher, 35, were also charged in connection to Blanchard’s murder, though Fisher’s charges were dropped this week because of “legal and jurisdictional grounds,” Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes confirmed to ABC News on Saturday.

Johnson Jr., 63, is charged with hindering prosecution.

“The investigation into the murder of Aniah Blanchard is still ongoing and we will continue to evaluate and exhaust all leads in the pursuit of justice for Aniah and her family,” Hughes said.

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Couple married at same Dunkin’ where their love splintered nearly 30 years ago

A Massachusetts couple were married at the same Dunkin’ Donuts where their young love splintered nearly 30 years agoDecember 28, 2019, 9:33 PM2 min readWORCESTER, Mass. — A Massachusetts couple reunited for extra-sweet wedding vows at the same Dunkin’ Donuts where their young love splintered nearly 30 years ago. Valerie Sneade and Jason Roy were…

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Couple married at same Dunkin’ where their love splintered nearly 30 years ago

A Massachusetts couple were married at the same Dunkin’ Donuts where their young love splintered nearly 30 years ago

December 28, 2019, 9:33 PM

2 min read

WORCESTER, Mass. —
A Massachusetts couple reunited for extra-sweet wedding vows at the same Dunkin’ Donuts where their young love splintered nearly 30 years ago.

Valerie Sneade and Jason Roy were married Friday afternoon, joined by family, friends and customers buying coffee and pastries at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Grafton Street in Worcester.

“It had to happen here,” Roy, who works for the Worcester Parks Department, told the Telegram & Gazette during an earlier interview.

“We think it’s an absolute riot,” said singer and actress Sneade, who is now taking the name Valerie Roy. “Has anybody been married in Dunkin’ Donuts before? Maybe we’ll start a trend.”

Sneade and Roy mostly didn’t see each other for 25 years after a conversation about their future at the same shop in 1992 led the young, in-love couple to step back from their relationship. Sneade blames misunderstandings at the time and words that didn’t come out right.

Roy joined the Navy, married and had three children. Sneade also had a first marriage and moved to Florida. She became a singer and actress, developing her own cabaret shows. Both later divorced.

“I wouldn’t want to change a thing that happened,” Sneade said. “Jason has three beautiful children who he adores. I had a different way to give to the world through music.”

When Roy learned Sneade was performing a Valentine’s Day-themed musical revue in Worcester in February 2018, he showed up and sat in the front row.

“I looked out almost like a deer in the headlights,” Sneade said. “I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness.’ ”

Three months later, she moved back to Massachusetts. Roy proposed that New Year’s Eve.

“I think we’re going to appreciate each other more so much later in life because every day is a blessing,” Sneade said. “I can’t imagine my life without him.”


ABC News


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