ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Heavy rain has fallen over much of the eastern half of the country the last few days, a pattern that will continue on Wednesday.
Since the weekend, 5 to 10 inches of rain has prompted widespread flooding issues over an area stretching from the Central Plains through the Ohio River Valley.
There were also 114 damaging storm reports Tuesday from west Texas through the Northeast, including three reported tornadoes in Kansas and Texas.
The stationary front remains in place over the eastern U.S. prompting a continuing risk for widespread rains from the southern Gulf states through the Northeast.
Flash flood watches remain in effect for a large portion of the Ohio River Valley and into the Mid-Atlantic region with more rain expected.
A new storm system moving east will bring a threat for severe storms to Dallas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; and St. Louis. The threat includes tornadoes, damaging winds and huge hail.
At least another 4 inches of rain is expected through the start of the weekend over some of the same areas already under flash flood watches.
Kuzma/iStock(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- An Alaska teenager allegedly killed her "best friend" after a man she met online offered to give her millions if she showed evidence of the murder, authorities said.
Investigators said Denali Brehmer, 18, launched a plot to murder her 19-year-old friend, Cynthia Hoffman, last month after a man promised her $9 million or more to "rape and murder someone in Alaska" and send him "videos and photographs of the murder," prosecutors said in an indictment.
The indictment, obtained by ABC News on Tuesday, claimed Darin Schilmiller, 21, of Indiana, used another man’s photo for several months online, pretending to be a millionaire named "Tyler" from Kansas.
"Brehmer agreed to commit a murder for him," the indictment stated. "Digital evidence and statements show Brehmer was communicating with and sending videos and/or photographs of the events surrounding the incident to Schilmiller at his directive throughout the duration of the event."
Authorities said they found Hoffman’s duct tape-bound body in a river near a rural Anchorage hiking trail on June 2. Police said she died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, but there was no evidence to show that she was sexually assaulted.
Brehmer was charged with first-degree murder in the online "catfishing" case, although police said 16-year-old Kayden McIntosh pulled the trigger and 19-year-old Caleb Leyland provided the vehicle to carry out the plot, the indictment stated.
Police said McIntosh, along with Brehmer, attempted to cover up the death by destroying the victim’s clothing, cellphone and purse. Brehmer allegedly texted the young woman’s family after she was dead, saying she’d been dropped at a local park.
The suspects admitted their roles in the crime to police and said they were planning to split the money Brehmer received from Schilmiller, who eventually confessed to the scheme, according to the indictment.
Police said Schilmiller also admitted to targeting Hoffman. He said the two also discussed murdering a second person, but they abandoned the plan.
"[Schilmiller] told police that he knew Hoffman was best friends with Brehmer. He further admitted to telling Brehmer to kill Hoffman and that he and Brehmer had been planning a murder for three weeks," the document stated. "Schilmiller further admitted to attempting to blackmail Brehmer after the homicide into raping people."
A grand jury indicted the six suspects -- Brehmer, McIntosh, Schilmiller, Leyland and two unidentified juveniles -- on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of second-degree murder and other charges.
Prosecutors said Schilmiller is currently in federal custody in Indiana on child pornography charges.
In a press conference Tuesday, Bryan Schroder, U.S. attorney for the state of Alaska, announced Schilmiller and Brehmer have also been indicted by a grand jury on federal child pornography charges. The duo is now facing charges of conspiracy to produce child porn, production of child porn, receipt and distribution of child porn and coercion and enticement of a minor.
Brehmer allegedly sexually abused a 15-year-old girl at Schilmiller's urging, the evidence of which the FBI says it found on Brehmer's phone.
"For all the good the internet can do, it can be a very dark place and parents would be wise to monitor the activity of their children online," Schroder said Tuesday.
Malden Police Department(MALDEN, Mass.) -- Police in Massachusetts said they're still searching for a man who faked a heart attack while his accomplice tried raiding a drugstore's cash register.
Jesse Meharg, 30, and Vyacheslav Phinney, 31, fled from a CVS in Malden after the caper on Sunday, with police locating and arresting Phinney on Tuesday, ABC Boston affiliate WCVB-TV reported.
Meharg, who "faked a heart attack" to create a distraction while Phinney lept toward the register, remains at large, police told WCVB.
The Malden Police Department released surveillance footage of the incident in which the men try to flee but are tripped by a bystander, sending wads of cash flying in the air.
Meharg appears to be scrambling for fistfuls of bills before running off, leaving behind his knit cap.
Malden police joked on Facebook that their continued pursuit of Meharg is not only to make sure he's "held accountable" but to "make sure his 'heart problems' have been taken care of by a medical professional."
Obtained by ABC News(PHOENIX) -- A Phoenix couple at the center of a viral-video confronted the city's mayor and police chief at a community meeting Tuesday night about why police officers who pulled guns on them and their children last month and threatened to shoot them weren't fired.
The event gave Dravon Ames, 22, and Iesha Harper, 24, who is six months pregnant, a chance to vent face-to-face with city leaders over the way they were treated during the now-viral encounter with police on May 27. Both Ames and Harper said they feared they were going to be shot during the encounter.
"It just makes me sick to my stomach. I have nightmares of barrels being pointed in my face and all I could think was, 'How can I save my daughter?’"Ames told city officials at the meeting. "No kid should ever see that, nor should she see terror like that."
Mayor Kate Gallego ordered the community meeting, held at the the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Phoenix, after cellphone videos surfaced last week showing officers screaming profanities at Ames and Harper, manhandling both of them and pointing guns at them and their children, a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old, after they were accused of shoplifting at a Family Dollar store. The names of the officers were not released.
"Police were trying to hurt us because she took a doll," Ames said. "It hurts to see that this is what happens when someone's shoplifting. If you think it's about stealing or whatever … mass murderers get walked down and without a scratch."
Civil rights activists and community organizers urged victims who had been shot by Phoenix police officers and families that had lost loved ones to officer-involved shootings and/or police brutality to attend the meeting.
"We owe it to our residents to give them an open forum to discuss their concerns with us and to propose solutions," Gallego said in a statement.
Among the attendees were Edward Brown, 35, who was paralyzed on Aug. 5, 2018, when he was shot in the back by a Phoenix police officer investigating drug activity in an alley; the family of Jacob Harris, a 19-year-old shot to death by an officer on Jan. 11 after he was suspected of being involved in an armed robbery; and relatives of Michelle Cusseaux, 50, who was fatally shot by a police officer sent to her apartment as part of a court-ordered mental health pick-up in 2014.
One resident, Dante Patterson, said he had a dangerous encounter in January 2018 with one of the same officers allegedly involved in the couple's apprehension last week.
"I tried twice to file a complaint through the Professional Standards Bureau so he does not do that conduct again and you guys ignored me and look what happened," Patterson said, addressing the police chief directly. "You guys didn't listen to me, and just know that I'm not going to stop until something is done."
At a Monday press conference, Ames and Haper said they rejected apologies from Gallego and Police Chief Jeri Williams.
"We've been aware of apologies from the mayor and the chief and, honestly, it hasn't done anything to help us because it feels like a half apology. The officers are still working. It feels like a slap in the face. It's like putting some lemon juice on an open wound," Ames said.
A day earlier, Williams said in an interview with ABC affiliate station KNXV-TV in Phoenix that she has "apologized to the family. I've apologized to the community."
Phoenix Law Enforcement Association President Britt London released a statement Monday asking the community to be patient until all the facts of an investigation come out.
"On occasion, an interaction receives intense scrutiny by the public, the media, the city, and the department," London said. "That is as it should be -- as police officers, each of us must be held accountable under the law. However, accountability first requires the completion of a thorough, fact-based investigation. To hold court using only emotion, without obtaining facts, or ignoring facts, does not benefit our community."
Hours after the couple's press conference on Monday, Phoenix police released new surveillance video from inside a Family Dollar store in Phoenix purportedly showing Ames shoplifting a pair of socks and his 4-year-old daughter walking out of the store with a box containing a doll.
The video also shows an unnamed woman at the store with Ames, Harper and their two children tossing items back on a shelf before walking out with the young girl holding the doll.
Attorney Sandra Slaton, who is representing the couple along with former Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, said Monday that even if allegations of shoplifting were true, "it still would not justify the horrific, barbaric action of this police department."
No charges were filed against the couple, and a $10 million notice of claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit, was sent to the city of Phoenix by attorneys for the couple.
nensuria/iStock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Federal officials made a massive cocaine bust in Philadelphia Tuesday, seizing an estimated 16.5 tons of the drug from a ship there -- with a street value of over $1 billion, officials said.
The historic bust -- the largest in the history of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania -- comes amid a series of large seizures of the drug in the Northeast, including a record seizure of $18 million worth of the drug in March.
New York saw its largest cocaine bust in a quarter century in that months as well with $77 million worth of the drug seized from a cargo ship in the port of New York and New Jersey.
An official said the ship, the MSC Gayane, was headed from Chile to Europe when the drugs were found in Philadelphia at the Packer Marine Terminal. Members of the crew were charged, according to the local U.S. attorney's office.
The drugs were concealed in seven shipping containers aboard the boat, which started its journey on May 31 and stopped in a number of places before landing in Philadelphia. When agents opened up the containers they saw the drugs in bags, the official said.
According to a senior Justice Department official, U.S. Customs and Border executed the seizure based on a joint investigation between the Department of Homeland Security and Drug Enforcement Administration.
In a statement, MSC said it takes the matter "seriously."
"MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company is aware of reports of an incident at the Port of Philadelphia in which U.S. authorities made a seizure of illicit cargo. MSC takes this matter very seriously and is grateful to the authorities for identifying any suspected abuse of its services," the company said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, shipping and logistics companies are from time to time affected by trafficking problems. MSC has a longstanding history of cooperating with U.S. federal law enforcement agencies to help disrupt illegal narcotics trafficking and works closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). MSC is committed to working with authorities and industry groups worldwide to improve the security of the international supply chain and ensure that illegal practices are dealt with promptly and thoroughly by the relevant authorities."
Traffickers have been seeking out a new market for cocaine by mixing it with the powerful drug fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Synthetic opioids, like fentanyl have been responsible for thousands of overdose deaths a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Cocaine, New York’s nemesis of the 90s, is back-indicating traffickers push to build an emerging customer base of users mixing cocaine with fentanyl,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan said at the time of the New York seizure. “This record-breaking seizure draws attention to this new threat and shows law enforcement’s collaborative efforts in seizing illicit drugs before it gets to the streets and into users’ hands.”
A criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Tuesday named two defendants, Ivan Durasevic and Fonofaavae Tiasaga, the ship's second mate and a crew member, respectively.
After boarding the Gayane yesterday morning in Philadelphia, Coast Guard personnel did a cotton swab of the crew members' arms and detected cocaine on Durasevic, according to the complaint.
Durasevic allegedly told investigators that he was told by the ship's chief officer to come down to the deck after it had departed Peru.
Durasevidc told investigators that he saw nets near the ship's crane that contained bags with handles transporting the cocaine, and he and around 4 others hoisted the bags onto the ship and loaded them into the containers after being promised by the Chief Officer that he would be paid $50,000, according to the complaint.
According to Tiasaga, he allegedly assisted in loading bales of cocaine that were brought alongside the ship by smaller boats both before and after they docked in Peru.
Cocaine's resurgence was also linked to an overabundance of cocaine supply in Colombia, after the country stopped eradicating the coca plant.
In the New York case, the drugs were hidden behind boxes of dried fruit on a ship bound from Colombia to Antwerp, Belgium. It wasn't clear if the drugs were headed to Europe or the U.S.
In the Philadelphia case from earlier this year, cocaine was found in duffel bags in a shipping container aboard the MSC Desiree, which was headed from Colombian to Europe.
Alessandro De Maddalena/iStock(NEW YORK) -- While others may have tried to escape in fear, a team of fishermen in New Jersey considered themselves lucky when a Great White Shark approached their boat.
The fishermen boating off the coast of Manasquan, which is about 10 miles south of Asbury Park, couldn’t contain their excitement and called the encounter a “once in a lifetime” experience, according to a video posted on Facebook.
The shark swam toward the boat, jumped up and ate a bag of ground-up fish bait before turning around, the video shows.
Jeff Crilly, who posted the video on his Facebook page and called it the “best day ever on the water.”
He estimated the shark, among the most feared predators, may have been 16 feet long.
Racine Police Dept.(RACINE, Wis.) -- A manhunt is underway after an off-duty Wisconsin police officer was fatally shot while trying to stop an armed robbery at a bar, authorities said.
Officer John Hetland, a 24-year veteran of the Racine Police Department, had worked the day-shift on Monday, Chief Arthel Howell said.
At 9:40 p.m. Monday, the veteran officer was off-duty when he saw an armed robbery unfolding at Teezers Tavern in Racine, about 25 miles south of Milwaukee.
"Hetland took immediate action," Howell said, and "during his effort to intervene," he was shot.
It is not clear if Hetland identified himself as an officer, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said.
Hetland is survived by two children, Racine Mayor Cory Mason told reporters on Tuesday.
"I've ordered the flags to be flown at half-staff today and until his burial," said the mayor, who had met the slain officer. "I just really can't express how deeply we feel the loss of this officer. It's been more than 40 decades since we've had a loss in this city."
"Everybody's still in shock."
No arrests have been made, Howell said.
The Kenosha County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday released an image of the suspect caught on surveillance video.
Authorities are canvassing the area looking for more video, Beth said.
The gun hasn't been found, the sheriff said.
A local business has offered a $5,000 reward and the FBI has offered a $20,000 reward for the capture of the suspect, Beth said.
"Officer Hetland was a trusted and highly respected member of the department, serving in various positions over the years, including an assignment as a field training officer, as well as a member of the Greater Racine FBI Gang Task Force," the chief said in a statement on Tuesday.
Obtained by ABC News(PHOENIX) -- A Phoenix man and his pregnant fiancee rejected apologies from the city's police chief and its mayor on Monday for an incident last month in which police were caught on cellphone videos manhandling them and threatening to shoot them in front of their two young children.
Dravon Ames, 22, and Iesha Harper, 24, who is six months pregnant, said during a news conference in Phoenix with their lawyers that Police Chief Jeri Williams and Mayor Kate Gallego never apologized to them in person or on the phone for the incident they say has left both them and their two daughters traumatized.
The couple spoke out a day after Williams said in an interview with ABC affiliate station KNXV-TV in Phoenix that she has "apologized to the family. I've apologized to the community."
But Ames and Harper said they haven't been contacted by Williams or Gallego, and plan to confront them both face-to-face at a community meeting over the incident that the mayor has scheduled for Tuesday.
“We've been aware of apologies from the mayor and the chief and, honestly, it hasn’t done anything to help us because it feels like a half apology. The officers are still working. It feels like a slap in the face. It's like putting some lemon juice on an open wound," Ames said.
"Nothing is being done for us as far as seeing any justice. The officers are still working after they did that and everyone is really wanting [the] officers to be fired," Ames continued. "Everyone knows they are not fit to be policing. Just like any other job, everyone is held accountable and those officers aren't being held accountable at all."
Just hours after the couple's press conference, Phoenix police released new surveillance video from inside a Family Dollar store in Phoenix purportedly showing Ames shoplifting a pair of socks and his 4-year-old daughter walking out of the store with a box containing a doll. The video also shows an unnamed woman who was at the store with Ames, Harper and their two children tossing items back on a shelf before walking out with the young girl holding the doll.
But attorney Sandra Slaton said Monday that even if the allegations of shoplifting were true, "it still would not justify the horrific, barbaric action of this police department."
No charges were filed against the couple.
Both Ames and Harper said they feared they were going to be shot.
"I'm replaying those images of a barrel in my face over and over. I'm seeing that a lot," Ames told ABC News.
In the couple's news conference, Harper said, "I thought something bad was going to happen to me and my children. I thought I was going to be shot, like he [an officer] told me," Harper said.
A $10 million notice of claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit, was sent to the city of Phoenix by attorneys for the couple.
The episode unfolded on May 27, when Phoenix officers responded to a report of a shoplifting incident at a Family Dollar store.
When the officers arrived at the store to investigate, a clerk told them about an unrelated shoplifting incident that had just occurred and were directed to three adults and two young children getting into a car in the parking lot, Williams said.
An officer ran out and tried to speak to the occupants of the car, yelling orders for the driver to stop, but the car kept going, Williams said.
The driver stopped and let out a passenger, a woman who had warrants out for her arrest, the chief said. She was taken into custody.
Officers then caught up to the vehicle suspected in the shoplifting at a nearby apartment complex. That's when the incident quickly escalated and witnesses pulled out cell phones and started recording.
In one video, an officer can be heard yelling at Ames to get his hands up. The officer, identified by Phoenix police officials as Officer Christopher Meyer, is then heard yelling at Ames, "I'm gonna put a f------- cap in your f------- head."
A second video of the incident shows Ames on the pavement outside his car with the same officer, Meyer, on top of him and placing him in handcuffs. The officer, according to the video, then yanks Ames off the ground and pushes him against a patrol vehicle before sweep-kicking Ames' legs apart, causing him to almost fall down.
"When I tell you to do something, you f------ do it!" Meyer is heard in the video yelling at Ames.
Ames responded that he was complying and then told Meyer, "I'm sorry."
Both videos show other officers pointing guns at Ames' car, where Harper was in the backseat with her two daughters, a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old.
When the officers yelled at Harper to get out of the car, she told them, "I have two kids." One officer responded, "I don't give a s---, put your hands up."
Harper got out of the car holding her 1-year-old. An officer charged up and attempted to pull the toddler from her arms, according to the video. A neighbor, who was a stranger to the couple, intervened and agreed to take the children, which police allowed before arresting Harper.
The videos surfaced online last week, and Chief Williams posted them on Facebook on Friday.
The officers involved in the incident were not wearing body cameras.
Harper said the incident stemmed from her 4-year-old daughter taking a doll from the store without her knowledge. Police claimed that Ames also stole a pair of underwear.
No charges were filed against the couple after the store manager declined to press charges.
Williams immediately ordered an investigation and placed Meyer and the other officers involved in the incident on desk duty. The names of the other officers were not released.
"It was very terrifying for me and my children because they've never been through nothing like that ... especially where they had guns pointed at them," Harper said on Monday. "I've always taught my [4-year-old] daughter to depend on the police if something's happening. But she had to find out herself not to depend on the police, which is a very sad situation because my daughter is terrified to this day of the police."
Rev. Jarret Maupin, a community activist who also spoke at Monday's news conference, accused the police department leadership of being dishonest with the community. He said he is calling for a "mass action" protest in the city on Thursday.
Phoenix Law Enforcement Association President Britt London released a statement Monday asking the community to be patient until all the facts of an investigation come out.
"Every day, Phoenix police officers interact with thousands of members of the public in neighborhoods across the city. In each instance, we do our best to protect residents, uphold the law, and keep families and our community safe," London's statement reads.
"The vast majority of these interactions go unremarked upon," London added. "On occasion, an interaction receives intense scrutiny by the public, the media, the city and the department. That is as it should be -- as police officers, each of us must be held accountable under the law. However, accountability first requires the completion of a thorough, fact-based investigation. To hold court using only emotion, without obtaining facts, or ignoring facts, does not benefit our community."
Evgen_Prozhyrko/iStock(LAKELAND, Fla.) -- A 22-year-old woman was found dead on the side of a Florida road, and now the sheriff is asking the public to help ascertain how she died.
Kara Hanvey of Sebring, Florida, was found lying on her back in the grass median on U.S. Highway 92 East in Lakeland at about 6:40 a.m. Sunday, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 22-year-old had "some minor trauma to her body and an apparent broken leg," according to the sheriff's office. Hanvey's belongings were found nearby along the westbound shoulder of the road, according to the sheriff's office.
No witnesses were found at the "suspicious" scene, said the sheriff's office.
Earl Gibson III/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Lonnie Bunch III's passion for history began in Bellevue, N.J., when his sharecropper-turned-dentist grandfather would read stories to him of African American school children from the 1800s with photo captions that read "unidentified."
He said his grandfather once turned to him and said, "'Isn't it a shame that they could live their lives, die, and all the caption said was, 'unidentified?' And that just really hit me."
America's narrative is captured in thousands of sepia-toned and black-and-white images, artifacts, stories and songs. And the people behind that creation matter -- remembered in small print captions that illustrate moments in history.
But for marginalized communities, the names simply aren't always there, an erasure of memory and of history.
This simple fact struck Bunch as he began to take notice within his own town and elementary school that some people would treat him differently based on the color of his skin, and he wanted to understand why.
"I saw that if I understood the history first of this town and then of America I might understand a little better about issues of race," Bunch said.
Bunch, the founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, has spent over 35 years in the museum world telling stories that he said helps people "wrestle with the unvarnished truth." His groundbreaking approach to storytelling will expand as he becomes the first African American secretary of the Smithsonian, overseeing 19 museums, 21 libraries, a budget of $1.5 billion, a staff of 6,800 and a collection of over 150 million objects.
"I think it's important for us to recognize that from history we're going to help America understand its diversity and understand itself better by looking at the array of people who've made up this country," Bunch said.
While Bunch has been a history fanatic since around the age of 5, he said that ending up working at the Smithsonian in 1978 was somewhat of a "mistake."
He was near the end of graduate school and was talking to a fellow classmate about how he, like many graduating students, needed a job. He said his classmate recommended that Bunch go talk to her husband who worked at the Smithsonian.
"And I remember thinking, 'Who works at the Smithsonian? That's where you take dates because it's free,'" Bunch said, through laughter. And that's how his career began.
He started at the National Air and Space Museum as a historian, and it is here where he said he fell in love with museums as a place of education, communication and where different generations and groups of people can come together.
"In some ways, a good museum is like a backyard barbecue," Bunch said. "Somebody will say something, and then somebody goes in a different direction and then ultimately the conversation goes on to a place nobody anticipated."
He then went on to hold a number of positions at the National Museum of American History, including the role of associate director for curatorial affairs.
Bunch is most known for is his role in directing the creation of the National Museum of African American History and Culture -- an effort that began in 2005.
The road to opening the museum was not an easy one, according to Bunch. The title of his upcoming book, A Fool's Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture during the Age of Bush, Obama and Trump, says it all.
One of the first challenges he faced was building a collection, as he is a believer that if you "didn't have the stuff of history you'd fail."
He said the idea for how to curate that collection came to him one day after falling asleep in his chair and waking up to an episode of Antiques Roadshow on PBS.
"I'd never heard of it and I thought, 'What a great idea,'" Bunch said. "So we stole the idea of Antiques Roadshow and we went around the country and asked people to bring out their stuff."
By the time Bunch and his team were done traveling across the country, he said they came back to Washington with more than 40,000 objects, of which 70 percent came out of the basements, trucks and attics of peoples homes.
Another hurdle Bunch and his team had to overcome was securing the financing for the museum.
Kinshasha Holman Conwill, deputy director for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, worked alongside Bunch during the decade-long process of creating the museum and said it was his incredible storytelling ability to "make objects come alive" that played such a pivotal role in his fundraising efforts.
"One of the things that struck me early was that part of his charisma and power as a fundraiser and as a leader was his ability to take a story and to weave it into a way that would help people see how they fit in," Conwill said.
During the 11 years prior to its opening, he was able to secure critical federal funding of $270 million and private donations of $317 million to ensure its future, according to the Smithsonian.
The historical and symbolic importance of his appointment as the first African American secretary is not lost upon Bunch. He said he's spent his career trying "to help America by using history to confront its tortured racial past" and believes that "maybe by looking honestly at the past we might be able to find some reconciliation and hope."
"In essence, it should, as I've tried to do my whole career, open other doors," Bunch said. "Encourage other people, challenge places to recognize that they are better when they let a diversity of people help shape an institution."
Working at the Smithsonian has provided more than just a career for Bunch. It is also the place where he found love.
Bunch met his wife, Maria Marable-Bunch, during his time as a young educator and historian at the National Air and Space Museum and while she was finishing her master's degree in museum education. They now have two daughters who, he said, grew up as "Smithsonian kids."
"We've had this amazing partnership where I always say she's the person that really understands museums, and I'm just a historian hanging out," Bunch said. "So, ultimately, I would say that the Smithsonian shaped almost everything about me, my career, my family."
Marable-Bunch is currently the associate director of museum learning and programs at the National Museum of the American Indian.
Bunch will start his new role as secretary of the Smithsonian on Monday and while he said that he is overwhelmingly excited and humbled to enter in his new role, he knows that he is set to face a number of political and financial challenges.
One of those challenges is the Smithsonian's long history with the Sackler family.
Currently, the Smithsonian is home to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery which features Asian art from ancient times to present. Earlier this year, a federal lawsuit was filed by 600 cities, counties and Native American tribes against eight of Sackler's relatives, including the descendants of his younger brothers, Mortimer and Raymond Sackler. Those two brothers founded the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, which produced the now-infamous painkiller drug, OxyContin. Neither Arthur Sackler nor any of his descendants are named in the federal lawsuit.
In a statement to ABC News, Purdue Pharma said: "The company is committed to working with all parties toward a resolution that helps bring needed solutions to communities and states to address this public health crisis. We continue to work collaboratively within the MDL process outlined by Judge Polster."
The museum has received blow-back and even protests for their relationship with the Sacklers. Some have called for the Smithsonian to take the family name off of their museum and to return all donations from the family.
"The criticism the Smithsonian is receiving is not fair," said Jan Wooten, a spokeswoman for the family of Arthur Sackler. She said that Sackler, a psychiatrist and a pioneer of pharmaceutical marketing including Valium, had no direct involvement with OxyContin or Purdue Pharma.
Arthur Sackler donated 1,000 works and $4 million to the Smithsonian years before OxyContin was launched, Wooten added. The museum has received roughly $7.5 million from various Sackler family members since the museum opened.
Bunch said the Smithsonian looks at these issues "case by case ... so that's something I'll look at as we move forward," Bunch said.
The Smithsonian has also struggled to keep with technological advances, an issue that Bunch said will be a focus during his tenure as the 14th secretary of the museum.
"We want to be able to really use technology to find the right tension between tradition and innovation," Bunch said. "We want to make sure that there is a kind of virtual Smithsonian that would allow people who would never get to Washington to access it."
While the road might be bumpy ahead during this transition for Bunch, he said that he is most excited to bring his deep love for the museum into his leadership of the world's largest museum complex.
"I can bring that sense of love, maybe sometimes tough love, to help the institution continue to be what it should be," Bunch said. "As an educational institution, the Smithsonian is part of the glue that holds the country together."
Guinness announced last week that Poncho had beat out a fellow longhorn steer named Sato -- who is from Texas -- by just over an inch in length. He holds the title for both largest horn spread on a living steer and largest horn spread on a steer ever.
The Pope family began to wonder whether Poncho would beat the Guinness record when he was about 4 and they noticed his horns were growing straight out instead of curving up like most longhorns.
No two longhorns have the same variation in their horn development, said Jeral "Dennis" Pope Jr. Poncho's horns go straight out before curling at the end, making for an "impressive" tip-to-tip length, he said.
Even before his formal award, Poncho has been a local celebrity in Coosa County, according to the Pope family. Their neighbors often come stop by to see him and feed him apples, carrots and marshmallows.
Pope Sr. described Poncho as a "big, gentle character," despite the intimidating length of his horns.
"He's just a big pet," Pope Jr. said.
George Jones, a member of the family who works on the ranch and helps care for Poncho, recalled a time when the longhorn approached him while he was fishing on the pond, seeking attention.
As Jones was petting Poncho, a horsefly landed on the longhorn, causing him to turn his head and send his human friend into the water.
"I went airborne into the pond," Jones said. "He just knocked me completely off my feet into the water."
Pope Sr. is as "proud of a peacock" of Poncho, his son said.
"He likes to bring that positive influence to his family and to his community."
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A North Carolina teenager who survived a brutal shark attack earlier this month relived the terrifying moment in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Good Morning America.
Paige Winter, 17, was attacked while swimming in waist-deep waters off the coast of North Carolina on June 2. She lost two fingers and her left leg was amputated, but she refuses to let the attack keep her down.
"I was aware from the beginning, nothing's gonna be the same ever again. Like, I'm still Paigey. Just a little different," Winter told GMA in an interview airing Tuesday. "I got some pieces of the puzzle missing. But it's OK. ... I'd rather have to go through this tough journey than, like, not being able to use my hands. Not being able to, like, walk."
The teen was swimming in the ocean with her sister and brother on a warm Sunday afternoon, enjoying the sun and pretending to be mermaids, when things suddenly took a turn for the worst. Something started to pull her underwater.
At first, she thought it was one of her siblings grabbing her leg as a joke, but then she started to feel a weird "snapping" sensation -- something she said she'll never forget.
"I'm like, 'Is this, like, a snapping turtle? Like, what's happening?'" she recalled. "Then it just starts. Like a dog [when] they get a rope and you grab the other rope and they just start going -- like with their whole body."
"I remember giving up for a second, and then I just start like laying there … and then I was like, 'no, wait a minute, I can't do that. Like, that's not an option!'" she said.
Winter said her body went into shock and she eventually stopped feeling pain. She said she mustered up all her strength and tried "prying" the animal off of her, but it was too strong.
Beginning to lose hope, she started to pray for a miracle.
"I'm like, 'I'm 17, like, please don't let me die. Like, I'm not ready to die, I have stuff to do. Like, so much,'" she said, recalling her brief conversation with God. "My body went into shock. So I couldn't feel anything, I just knew it was bad."
The teenager suffered "deep lacerations to her leg, pelvic and hand areas" and had to be airlifted to a trauma center. Despite her injuries, the teen said she hopes to turn it into a positive experience.
Luckily, her father, Charlie Winter, manged to punch the shark in a move that may have saved her life, authorities said. Now she calls him her hero.
Paige Winter said she still remembers how she felt when her father placed her over his shoulder and brought her back to safety.
"I was like, 'Dad, please help me!' I remember being really quiet," she said. "And at one point his energy, like, dropped. He's like, 'I can't … I can't, man,' and I was like, "Yes, you can, please help me."
Charlie Winter said he ran as fast as he could when he realized his daughter was in danger.
"You could tell where she was because you could see pink on the water," he told GMA. "I dove under. It was about 5 feet. She was already getting pulled back and so I dove in where -- she was movin' back. That's where I dove in and I grabbed her."
Within a matter of seconds, he found himself staring eye-to-eye with a massive shark.
"I pulled her up. You could see the shark come up right with her. And then I just immediately just start beating it with everything I could," he said. "He was just staring at my sideways, just the biggest, blackest eye piercing. It was just no negotiating with it."
Today, the family says they're still working to get used to "the new normal," but Paige Winter says she doesn't feel any anger toward the shark who attacked her.
"This situation has urged me to learn more about sharks. Because even in the back of that ambulance and in the back of that truck, I was like, 'Guys, sharks are still good people. Like, don't get mad at the shark. The shark is fine," she recalled with a smile. "I was just trying to assure them that me and that shark are good, like, we're good."
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As much as 10 inches of rain has fallen in the Ohio Valley since Friday, causing flooding, necessitating water rescues and creating a mudslide near Lexington, Kentucky.
Parts of southern Indiana have seen 10 inches of rain, while up to half a foot fell in parts of Ohio. Other parts of Kentucky have reported 5 inches.
There were more than 100 reports of damaging storms on Monday that ranged from the Rockies to the East Coast, including five reported tornadoes. Parts of Texas saw tennis ball-sized hail.
More heavy rain and storms are expected on Tuesday for much of the nation.
Flood alerts have been issued from Illinois to New Jersey.
In the Plains, the combination of a new system from the West with an already-existing one means severe storms are forecast from Texas to Kansas, with the biggest threat damaging winds and large hail -- with an isolated tornado a possibility.
Some areas over the next few days could see additional heavy rain, locally more than 4 inches.
MmeEmil/iStock(COAL TOWNSHIP, Pa.) -- A caregiver is accused of trying to kill an elderly couple in Pennsylvania by lacing their cigarettes with rat poison.
A 73-year-old woman in Northumberland County told authorities last Friday that she found an unknown green substance in cigarettes that were rolled for her by Tina Young, who takes care of her 80-year-old husband.
When confronted by investigators, Young admitted to putting ground-up pieces of rodent poison with the loose tobacco in the cigarettes she rolled for the couple in an attempt to kill them for having her fired from her job, according to the incident report from the Pennsylvania State Police.
It was unknown whether the couple was sickened by the substance.
Young, 37, was arrested for attempted murder, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.
Arraigned before a district judge on Monday, she's being held at the Northumberland County Jail on $250,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing is set for June 26. It's unclear whether she's hired legal counsel.
Phototreat/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Amid the recent surge of migrants traveling to the U.S. from Central America, people from another part of the world have also been arriving at the southern border in large numbers.
Hundreds of migrants from central African countries, including the Republic of Congo, Angola and Cameroon, have been apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol in the past month. Federal officials in Texas reported more than 500 people from African countries were arrested in less than a week.
"Our Border Patrol agents are facing more unique challenges every day as the number of family units from different regions of the world continue to increase," Del Rio Sector acting Chief Patrol Agent Randy Davis said in a statement.
The new arrivals have further strained U.S. authorities, as agents who mostly process large numbers of Central American migrants are now dealing with translating different languages while initiating the asylum process.
The latest arrest reports far exceed last year's levels. For example, agents arrested 45 Eritreans, 33 Somalians and no one from the Republic of Congo or Angola at the southern border over the course of fiscal year 2018, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.
Looking back further, one Eritrean, one Cameroonian, one person from the Republic of Congo and one from Angola were arrested for crossing illegally in the last full budget year of the Obama administration, according to CBP.
The latest wave of apprehensions includes the largest single group of Africans ever seen by authorities at the southern border. Agents in Texas arrested a group of 116 people from Angola, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo after they crossed the Rio Grande River near Del Rio on May 31.
"Large groups present a unique challenge for the men and women of the Del Rio Sector," regional chief Raul Ortiz said in a statement at the time. "This large group from Africa further demonstrates the complexity and severity of the border security and humanitarian crisis at our Southwest border."
Two groups of more than 30 Africans, mostly from the Republic of Congo and Angola, crossed the Rio Grande days later in the Del Rio area.
CBP does not regularly provide the countries of origin for migrants legally arriving through border checkpoints. That number has stayed relatively consistent, despite surges of migrants in recent months.
However, independent researchers have documented that thousands of migrants have been forced to wait for weeks or months before being allowed to enter legally.