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iStock/Thinkstock(FORT WORTH, Texas) — Two children died in Texas on Wednesday after they were electrocuted by power lines downed in a severe overnight storm.

The boys, ages 11 and 12, were brothers, ABC affiliate WFAA reported, citing a first responder on the scene.

The incident happened in a heavily wooded area in East Fort Worth, Texas, according to the report. The area was still recovering from a powerful overnight storm that knocked out power and damaged multiple properties.

CAUTION is the word for downed power lines. Tragic reminder of that, up next live at 10 @wfaachannel8 #wfaaweather pic.twitter.com/DEJPP55eJn

— Todd Unger (@ToddWFAA8) March 30, 2017

"This is never something we want to have to respond to. We can never talk about it enough, the need for safety around downed power lines. We're just starting storm season," Fort Worth Fire Department's Lt. Kyle Falkner told WFAA on Wednesday.

A grass fire had also been ignited as a result of the fallen lines, which were still energized when fire officials arrived on the scene.

Oncor, the local electricity provider in the area, said it was working with authorities to determine the cause of the accident.

"Our thoughts and heartfelt prayers go out to the family," a spokesperson for the company said in a statement Wednesday. "We urge all our customers to treat every power line as if it’s energized."

Severe thunderstorms and damaging winds hit parts of Texas overnight, leaving as many as 200,000 people in the Dallas/Fort Worth area without power at one point.

The poor weather shifted east on Wednesday with severe weather warnings spanning from the area surrounding Kansas City, Missouri, to the Gulf Coast.

Worse storms are expected in parts of Mississippi and Tennessee on Thursday.
 
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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(NEW YORK) -- Edward Smart has an appreciation for what the family of Elizabeth Thomas -- the Tennessee teen allegedly kidnapped by former teacher Tad Cummins -- is going through.

After all, his daughter Elizabeth Smart was abducted in 2002 at the age of 15 at knifepoint from her Salt Lake City home by street preacher Brian David Mitchell. Elizabeth testified in court that Mitchell terrorized her with almost daily rapes and the constant threat of killing her if she tried to escape. After nine months, though, Elizabeth was rescued after she was spotted in public with Mitchell.

"You just can't even imagine what's going through a young girl's head at this point at time," Edward Smart told ABC affiliate WKRN-TV in Nashville, Tennessee. "Regardless of what Elizabeth Thomas's situation might have started out to be it could be very different at this point."

An Amber Alert for Thomas was issued on March 15.

The exact circumstances of 15-year-old Thomas' disappearance and her relationship with 50-year-old Cummins are still murky, but Smart says a common denominator is the manipulation of these teens by these older men.

"In our Elizabeth's case they got her to this mindset where she believed that if she did anything they didn't want her to do that they would come and kill her family," Smart said. "Manipulation is what controls them."

Smart says the return of Thomas will depend on the media's coverage of her disappearance.

"I just don't think you can hope to find your child without the media and the coverage because without them you cannot engage the public and get them to help you find her," he said. "It's going to come down to the public seeing something, seeing her or seeing him."

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iStock/Thinkstock(CONCAN, Texas) — Thirteen people died on Wednesday in a head-on collision between a church bus and a pickup truck in Concan, Texas, officials said.

Two other people were injured in the accident, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

DPS said that the bus was carrying congregants from the First Baptist Church in New Braunfels, Texas at a little after noon, when the accident occurred.

The bus, which was carrying 14 people, was returning to New Braunfels from a Baptist encampment neat Lakey, Texas, where members were attending a Bible study, according to the church.

Police said the driver was the sole occupant of the truck.

The National Transportation Safety Board tweeted Wednesday night, "The NTSB is investigating today’s highway accident in Concan, Texas."

The NTSB is investigating today’s highway accident in Concan, Texas.

— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) March 29, 2017

The First Baptist Church also posted an acknowledgement of the incident on their Facebook page.

"We have received word that the bus carrying our senior adults back from their retreat was involved in an accident," the post reads. "We understand there have been some fatalities, but we do not yet know who. All activities for tonight are cancelled. The Sanctuary will be open this evening for prayer and support. Please be in prayer for all involved."

A subsequent Facebook post read, "We are ministering to family members to help them deal with this tragedy. Counselors will be on hand at the church tomorrow. If you're a Christian, you can pray for those who lost their loved ones and for the church family."

DPS: 12 killed, 3 injured in bus crash involving New Braunfels church https://t.co/4HfXwDzjUH #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/n9Mi85PiPd

— KSAT 12 (@ksatnews) March 30, 2017

Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said in a statement, "Cecilia and I extend our deepest condolences to the victims and the families of those involved in today's tragic event. We are saddened by the loss of life and our hearts go out to all those affected. We thank the first responders working on the scene in the wake of this unimaginable tragedy, and ask that all Texans join us in offering their thoughts and prayers."

And Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted, "Our thoughts & prayers are with the family & friends of those killed in deadly crash near Garner State Park."

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David Park(LOS ANGELES) — A California man who witnessed his friend and fellow motorcyclist veer off the side of a highway and fall down a cliff told Good Morning America in an interview that aired Thursday about the near-death incident.

"I thought he was dead," David Park, who captured the entire incident on his GoPro, told ABC News. "I don't know what's down there, maybe it's a 50-foot drop, maybe there's rocks down there, I don't know what's down there."

Remarkably, Park's friend, who wished to only go by his first name, Willi, sustained only a shoulder injury in his fall and has since been released from the hospital.

Park told ABC News that they were motorcycling through the Angeles National Forest in Arcadia, California, on Sunday, when the near-death experience took place.

"You really have to think about it, and digest it, to really accept the fact that: How can a person walk away with a fractured shoulder from this?" Park said.

Park added that Willy's bike got caught in a tree as he fell down off the side of the road, but Willy kept falling. Park said they had no cell service, so he asked another motorcyclist to drive down the highway and call 911. The California Highway Patrol responded to the incident and Willy was airlifted to a medical treatment center, according to Park.

Park said that Willy "only remembers the point of impact and then waking up seeing my face."

Despite the fall, Park said Willy maintained that he is going to get back on his bike when he recovers.

"Willy's got a pretty strong spirit," Park said. "Once he heals up he said he's going to continue riding motorcycles, but I don't think he's going to be coming back up here anytime soon."

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carlballou/iStock/Thinkstock(BROKEN ARROW, Okla.) -- Elizabeth Rodriguez, the woman who allegedly drove three teenage boys to a home in Oklahoma where they were shot to death after attempting a home invasion robbery, told investigators that she left one of the burglars for dead, according to police.

The Wagoner County Sheriff's office arrested Rodriguez on three first-degree murder and three first-degree burglary warrants and jailed her without bond after she told them that she had information about a shooting that took place at a home in Broken Arrow, a suburb of Tulsa.

Rodriguez waived her right to an attorney in speaking with investigators today, police said, and claimed that she had no personal connection to Zachary Peters, the 22-year-old victim of the alleged home invasion attempt, whose actions are being investigated as a potential act of self-defense under the state's "Stand Your Ground" law.

Rodriguez told investigators that she planned the incident herself.

Peters lived in a home in Broken Arrow owned by his father, according to police.

Rodriguez surmised that Peters had money, and then selected his home to "hit a lick," they said, referring to an expression which refers to gaining a lot of money in a brief period of time.

Rodriguez and the deceased suspects robbed a spare apartment at Peters' home earlier in the day on Monday, she told investigators.

Later on in the day, the suspects, masked and dressed in black, kicked in a door and encountered Peters, who police said was armed with an AR-15 rifle.

Investigators say that Peters shot at all three burglars in his home.

One of the injured teenagers fled the home after being shot and scrambled to get back inside Rodriguez's vehicle, but she allegedly drove away and left him there to die.

Wagoner County Deputy Nick Mahoney said on Tuesday that two of the teens were 16 or 17 years old and the third was 18 or 19. Brass knuckles and a knife were found among their possessions, he said.

The National Council of State Legislatures notes that Oklahoma is one of 24 states in the country with laws that allow citizens to shoot if they believe the targeted person threatens their safety.

Rodriguez was scheduled to appear in court April 5.

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jamesdvdsn/iStock/Thinkstock(DEATH VALLEY, Valif.) -- Death Valley National Park, with its hot, forbidding desert climate and barren terrain seems like an unlikely target for robbers. But, apparently they found some of the park's historic riches hard to leave behind.

Ancient fossil footprints were removed from part of Death Valley's park territory, which covers more than 3 million acres in California and Nevada, according to a statement published by the National Park Service (NPS).

NPS said they believe the missing fossils were formed about three to five million years ago by the tracks of mammals and birds near what used to be a lakeshore.

Scientists visit the area of Death Valley regularly, photographing and recording the exact location of each footprint, NPS said in the statement, and noticed the fossils were missing during a recent trip.

The scientists then alerted park rangers about their discovery.

"It’s illegal to collect fossils, rocks, or anything else in National Parks," Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds says in the statement. "The purpose of National Parks is to conserve the landscape and everything it contains for the next generation. I ask that visitors come and enjoy all there is to see, and to leave it unimpaired for others to enjoy."

NPS has an Investigative Services Branch, and park officials are asking for anyone with information about the fossils to come forward with information.

Investigators believe that a group of men who were photographed near the site may have information about the fossils. They are offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those responsible.

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iStock/Thinkstock(FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla.) -- Nearly 50 dachshunds are now available for adoption after two animal rescue groups in Florida helped to save them from a single home in Arkansas.

The dachshunds came from a "hoarding situation," said Terri Bondi, founder of Save Underdogs in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.

Bondi described the dogs' previous owner as an "older gentleman" in Arkansas who didn't know what he was getting into when he welcomed three to four pups into his home without spaying or neutering them. That was five years ago.

The Crawford County man began asking for help when his canine brood reached 17 dogs, Bondi said, but he could not find anyone willing to assist. He didn't intend to breed the dachshunds, he told her, but didn't realize how young or fast the pups could reproduce.

"It only takes a year for 17 dogs to turn into 50 and 60," she said.

Although the dogs hadn't been receiving veterinary care, Bondi described them as clean, friendly and "not emaciated," adding that their previous owner "did the very best he could" for them.

Once a friend alerted Bondi to the situation on Friday afternoon, she sprang into action. She wanted to transport the pups to Florida as quickly as possible to save them from being euthanized at a local shelter, she said.

Bondi, along with Lori Hood, founder of another Florida group, Freeport-based Alaqua Animal Refuge, arranged for a van to pick up 49 dogs from the man's home within a matter of hours. The dogs were loaded onto the van before midnight on Saturday and were back in Florida by 1 p.m. Sunday, Bondi said, after a 12-hour drive.

Save Underdogs took in 22 of the dogs, while Alaqua Animal Refuge took in 29 dogs, Hood said. She and Bondi often work together, she added, in hoarding or puppy mill cases.

The man had an estimated 75 dogs at his home, but he decided to keep three. In addition to the pups taken in by the rescue groups, about 20 of the dogs were adopted locally in Arkansas, Bondi said.

The man, who lived in a small trailer, was "very sad, but very grateful" that the dogs would go to loving homes, she said, adding that he would often go without food for himself to make sure the dogs had enough to eat.

He told Bondi that he would spend "24/7 trying to take care of them."

Hundreds of interested people have reached out to the groups to adopt the dachshunds, both Bondi and Hood said. Bondi asked that those interested in adopting remain patient as they filter through applications.

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hookmedia/iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Ralph Heard Jr. knows the importance of teaching fire safety in schools.

He was just 9 years old when, in February 1978 in Atlanta, Georgia, his home's furnace exploded, blowing out windows. With burns over 75 percent of his body, he ran through his home, helping to get his mother and younger siblings outside to safety.

Heard credited his family's survival that night with the techniques he learned through financial services company The Hartford's Junior Fire Marshal Program, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

In 1978, a representative of the program had come to Peyton Forrest Elementary School where Heard was a student. He said he remembered receiving the trademark red hat.

He described the experience of surviving the fire to ABC News on Wednesday.

"I was just totally scared. I didn't know what to do," he said. "But at that particular time, it came to mind: 'I need to fall to the floor, crawl to the door for safety, call out for help,' so I started to do that."

He said that when he got outside, he rolled on the grass to stop the burning and put out the rest of the flames on his body. Heard had to undergo almost 26 surgeries and stayed in the hospital for nearly six months. He said he was forced to stay in the house for nearly a year.

The Hartford program honored him as a boy, making Heard a Junior Fire Marshal Gold Medal winner.

The program has created more than 110 million junior fire marshals, Heard said. For the last 40 years, he's been teaching fire safety as a volunteer with the Atlanta Fire Department.

The Hartford, a property and casualty insurance company, said Atlanta, Georgia, ranks 60 among the 100 cities with the highest home fire risk in the U.S..

"In recognition of the 70th anniversary of the company's Junior Fire Marshal education program, The Hartford is donating $10,000 to the Atlanta, Georgia school district and $10,000 to the local fire department to support ongoing fire safety education and behavior initiatives," the company said.

Today, Heard returned to Peyton Forrest Elementary to share his story and teach children about fire safety.

"The Hartford Junior Fire Marshall Program saved my life," he told ABC News today. He said he wouldn't have survived the fire "if it wasn't for the program that trained us and taught us as kids that you've got to stop, drop and roll."

"The program really, really works," Heard said, "'cause I'm alive today."

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Capitol Police have apprehended a female driver after she nearly hit several officers and struck another vehicle near the U.S. Capitol, police said Wednesday morning.

At 9:22 a.m., Capitol police officers observed an "erratic and aggressive driver" in the vicinity of 100 Independence Ave, according to Eva Malecki, the communications director for the United States Capitol Police, who briefed reporters at Bartholdi Park.

As the officers tried to stop the vehicle, the driver pulled a U-turn and fled the scene, apparently striking another vehicle and nearly hitting officers. A brief pursuit ensued until the female suspect was stopped at Washington Ave and Independence Ave, which is located near the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Rayburn House Office Building, police said.

Capitol Police fired shots in an attempt to stop the driver. No one was hit, police said.

Capitol Police sent out an email alert about the incident, asking Hill staffers to stay clear of the area. Some of the House office buildings in the vicinity were temporarily placed on lockdown, but those lockdowns have been lifted.

The female suspect was apprehended at 3rd and Independence Ave, and has been taken into custody. No individuals were injured during the arrest, according to Malecki.

The incident appears to be criminal in nature with no nexus to terrorism, Malecki added.

The FBI are assisting Capitol Police at the scene. There is currently no clear indication of a motive, or whether this was an intentional act, according to the FBI.

As of now, the Capitol building is open to the public.

The United States Capitol Police Criminal Investigations is handling the investigation, according to Malecki.

 

Scene in Capitol Hill where a vehicle struck police cruiser and person took off on foot. Before being taken into custody pic.twitter.com/69eJuZF3oE

— Serena Marshall (@SerenaMarsh) March 29, 2017

 

 

Sounded like shots fired at the Capitol. Our view from Rayburn. pic.twitter.com/gPerfVGM2s

— Drew Griffin (@GriffDrew4) March 29, 2017

 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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iStock/Thinkstock(TULSA, Okla.) -- The alleged getaway driver now facing possible murder charges in the fatal shooting of three teen burglary suspects outside Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Monday allegedly "instructed" the trio to rob the house, according to a probable cause affidavit.

On Tuesday, police with the Wagoner County Sheriff's Office identified the alleged driver as 21-year-old Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez. Authorities also released the names and ages of the slain teens: Maxwell Cook, 19; Jacob Redfearn, 17; and Jaycob Woodruff, 16.

Authorities said that around 12:30 p.m. Monday, Zach Peters, the son of the homeowner, called 911 to report that people had broken into his home and that he'd shot them in the kitchen area with an AR-15 rifle. Peters was in the house with his father at the time, police said. Neither were hurt.

In a 911 recording released on Wednesday, Peters tells the operator that the alleged burglars were shot in the upper body and that he can hear one of the alleged burglars still talking.

"I'm barricaded in my bedroom," he says. "I am still armed in the southeast corner of my house."

Police said when they arrived, they found three deceased male teenagers. Two were in the kitchen area of the house; one appeared to have run from the home after being shot but had died in the driveway. Chief Deputy Les Young said the teens had been shot multiple times.

According to police, Rodriguez turned herself into authorities after the shooting, allegedly saying that she had information about the incident.

According to the affidavit, Rodriguez told police that she'd dropped the teens off at the residence and was waiting for them to return. The affidavit said that she "willfully" took the teens to the house and only left when she heard gunshots.

"It was learned through a witness at the scene that Rodriguez had previous knowledge of the house and the homeowner even [called] him by his first name," the affidavit said. "Rodriguez planned the burglary and took the three suspects to the residence on two separate occasions on today's date wanting to steal items."

Rodriguez was arrested on three counts of felony first-degree murder (for deaths that occur during the commission of a felony), three counts of first-degree burglary and one count of second-degree burglary. She has yet to be formally charged.

Authorities said they had not determined if Peters would face charges. Oklahoma has a "stand your ground" law. State law presumes homeowners have a fear that justifies use of defensive force just by virtue of someone breaking into a home.

Rodriguez is scheduled to appear in court on April 5.

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Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center(SALEM, Ore.) -- An Oregon man who discovered a bear cub in distress on a hiking trail Monday night will receive a warning -- not a criminal citation -- after he took the animal to a wildlife center, Oregon State Police announced Wednesday.

It is illegal in Oregon to capture or keep wildlife in captivity. If convicted, a perpetrator could face a maximum of one year in jail and a $6,250 fine, said Michelle Dennehy, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife public information coordinator.

Of the decision to issue only a warning, Sgt. James Halsey said, "Oregon State Police contacted the male subject who picked up the bear cub. Due to the totality of circumstances, to include that the adult male subject thought he was helping the bear cub without knowledge that the mother bear may have been nearby, a criminal citation was not issued to the male subject."

The incident, though, prompted state animal officials to remind the public to leave wildlife alone in such situations.

Hancock, who said he has been hiking the trail for more than 20 years, described the bear as "motionless" when he found it.

"I thought he was dead," he said. "He did kind of twitch a couple times so I knew he was dying or going through the motions of death when I found him."

Hancock said he moved back about 50 yards in case the bear's mother turned up and watched the cub. When the cub didn't move for about 10 minutes, Hancock said he decided to take his flannel out and "wrap [the bear] up and make a run for it."

Hancock said he then raced back to his car and drove toward Salem. Once he got back in cell service range, he posted a photo to Facebook asking for help.

"If I hadn't been out on the trails in the rain today, this little boy would be dead," Hancock captioned the pic. "I'm so completely thankful for today."

Hancock then brought the cub, whom he has affectionately nicknamed "Elkhorn" since he was found on Elkhorn Road, to the Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center in Oregon as recommended by someone on social media, he said. The center described the cub as "malnourished" and "lethargic" when it came in.

Elkhorn's condition significantly improved over 12 hours, the center said, and the cub has since been transferred to a wildlife veterinarian with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for a full health exam.

The center recommends calling wildlife officials should anyone encounter animals that they believe may need help, but it thanked Hancock for his efforts in saving the cub.

"This was an uncommon situation and we appreciate Corey for trusting us with the distressed cub's care," the center wrote on Facebook. "We are also grateful to our amazing community of supporters whose generosity ensures Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center is here to help in emergency situations such as this."

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife advises people to always leave wildlife in the wild, particularly young animals.

ODFW veterinarian Colin Gillin told ABC News that taking an animal out of the wild is, in nearly all cases, not good for the animal, adding that there was no way to know "why this animal was on the side of the trail" and that the mother could have placed it down for a few hours to forage for food.

After evaluating the cub, the department said it has no plans to euthanize it. Elkhorn will likely go to a zoo or a rehabilitation center to be released back into the wild. Chances of reuniting him with his mother at this point are "very slim," Gillin said.

At the center, the cub will not learn basic survival skills from its mother, such as how to stay away from danger and how to forage, Gillin said, adding the bear will be at a "disadvantage" when it is released.

When you "take an animal in, none of those scenarios are better than it being with its mother," Gillin said, adding that with wildlife such as bears, mountain lions and deer, "the parent animal is usually nearby."

Gillin said that the best option for Hancock in this case would have been to contact ODFW or Oregon State Police.

Hancock said he "gets" the law, and although he was not aware of it at the time, he may not have abided by it had he been.

"I can’t say for sure what I would do if I did know the law," the father of three said. "I have kids. That was a little life there that was about to be lost."

It is unclear if any charges will be filed against Hancock. Oregon State Police said they are aware of the incident and will ultimately deem whether charges are appropriate. Police said they have contacted Hancock and reminded him of the law.

Gillin doesn't blame Hancock for picking up the cub, saying "he did what he thought he needed to do."

A similar issue was raised last year when a baby bison was euthanized after visitors at Yellowstone National Park placed it in the back of their car because it looked cold. After the bison was brought to a park facility, park rangers spent more than two days trying to get the bison calf to return to a herd, but it kept getting rejected and ultimately had to be put down.

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iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) — Severe thunderstorms and damaging winds in parts of Texas overnight left nearly 200,000 residents without power as of early Wednesday morning.

Much of the power failures centered around the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, according to the Oncor Electric Delivery utility company, which put the total number of statewide outages at 197,221 as of 4:46 a.m. local time.

The weather damaged houses, blew over trees and caused multiple car accidents across Texas.

There was significant damage reported in the Dalton Ranch Community in Rockwall, Texas, where multiple homes were damaged and five houses were reportedly destroyed, according to ABC affiliate WFAA.

Dalton Ranch in Rockwall #wfaaweather pic.twitter.com/OJ0pyQ2In4

— Brian Abraham (@AbeDPT28) March 29, 2017

In Arlington, Texas, wind gusts were reportedly strong enough to take down part of a brick wall.

Winds strong enough to blow over several sections of a brick wall near Ponselle Dr. and S. Matlock Rd in Arlington. @NWSFortWorth pic.twitter.com/UEDpnzCkDK

— DFW Scanner (@DFWscanner) March 29, 2017

The poor weather in Texas continued from Tuesday, when three storm chasers were killed in a car accident after their vehicles crashed on a rural road in West Texas. Tornadoes and heavy rain had been reported nearby at the time of the crash.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) — On June 12, 2016, gunman Omar Mateen murdered 49 people and injured dozens more during a three-hour standoff at the popular Orlando LGBT venue, Pulse Nightclub.

Mateen -- a radicalized U.S.-born Muslim who pledged allegiance to ISIS during the massacre -- was shot and killed by police.

Now, as the one-year anniversary approaches, city and county officials in Orlando have laid out their plans to commemorate the deadliest mass shooting in recent American history.

June 12 will be dedicated as "Orlando United Day -- A Day of Love and Kindness," the city of Orlando and Orange County, in conjunction with Pulse, announced in a press release.

"This announcement formally dedicates June 12 to the memory and honor of the 49 innocent lives taken at Pulse, reaffirms the community’s commitment to survivors and loved ones, as well as recognizes the global compassion and love displayed in the wake of the tragedy," reads the release.

A series of events are planned for June 12, including a memorial service at the site of the former nightclub. Another memorial service will be held at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando.

An exhibit of artwork from memorials across Orlando will be on display at the Orange County History Center, as well.

Mayor Jacobs joins @OrlandoMayor to announce #OrlandoUnitedDay | A Day of Love and Kindness on June 12, 2017. https://t.co/26Ziakjqpu pic.twitter.com/dyIzj8jcOH

— Mayor Teresa Jacobs (@Mayor_Jacobs) March 27, 2017

"Our community will never forget the tragedy of Pulse or the grief of those who lost loved ones," Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer said in a video posted to a new website, OrlandoUnitedDay.com. "From heartbroken family and friends to survivors putting shattered lives back together, our entire community stands with you."

Teresa Jacobs, the mayor of Orange County, Florida, also shared a touching message in the video.

"As we prepare for the anniversary of Pulse, the world is working to honor and remember the lives we lost," she said. "Through a day of love and kindness dedicated to the legacy of those who perished, we will continue to cherish their memories."

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iStock/Thinkstock(SPUR, Texas) — Three storm chasers died in a car crash in Texas, according to authorities.

Around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a black Chevy Suburban was traveling northbound on Farm to Market Road 1081 before it disregarded a stop sign and collided with a black Jeep that was traveling westbound on Farm to Market Road 2794, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a press release.

The two-car crash occurred about five miles west of the city of Spur, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Both drivers and one passenger were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said, adding that all three people were storm chasers.

The driver of the Suburban was identified by police as Kelley Gene Williamson, 57, of Cassville, Missouri. Police said he was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. The passenger in the Suburban, Randall Delane Yarnall, 55, also of Cassville, was wearing his seatbelt, police said.

"This afternoon we learned that three people died in a car accident in Texas, including two contractors for the Weather Channel, Kelley Williamson and Randy Yarnall," the Weather Channel said in a statement. "Kelley and Randy were beloved members of the weather community. We are saddened by this loss and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and loved ones of all involved."

The driver of the Jeep was identified as Corbin Lee Jaegar, 25, of Peoria, Arizona. He was wearing a seatbelt at the time, police said.

The location of the crash was either in or near an area under a tornado warning, ABC News Lubbock affiliate KAMC reported. A tornado watch is in effect for Dickens County until 11 p.m.

Authorities are continuing to investigate.

A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for from Del Rio to Amarillo until about 9 p.m. Tuesday, with large hail and tornadoes possible. Fourteen million Americans from Texas to Oklahoma may be affected by possible storms overnight.

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WTVD(HOKE COUNTY, N.C.) — A North Carolina mother says her 5-year-old daughter was suspended from school after she was found playing with a stick that resembled a gun.

Brandy Miller said her daughter Caitlin was suspended for one day on Friday after she and her two friends were playing "King and Queen" at her school in Hoke County, North Carolina, ABC affiliate WTVD reported Tuesday.

In the game, Caitlin played a guard, protecting the royals, and picked up the "stick gun" to imitate shooting an intruder into the kingdom.

5 yr old Caitlin Miller returns home after her first day back from suspension over playing with stick that looked like a gun. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/DfzrY0zHEO

— Morgan Norwood (@MorganABC11) March 28, 2017

The Hoke County School system said Caitlin posed a threat to other students when she made a shooting motion -- a violation of school policy, officials said.

"We know why it's bad," Miller told WTVD. "We watch the news, but then I have to tell my kid, 'you're not allowed to play like that in school because people do bad things to kids your age.'"

The Hoke County School school system defended its policy in a statement and said it would "not tolerate assaults, threats or harassment from any student."

This is the playground where a 5 yr. old found a stick that school officials say resembled a gun. She was suspended for a day. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/L1niHRZt2u

— Morgan Norwood (@MorganABC11) March 28, 2017

"Any student engaging in such behavior will be removed from the classroom or school environment for as long as is necessary to provide a safe and orderly environment for learning," the school system told WTVD in a statement.

Caitlin returned from the one-day suspension on Tuesday, but her mom said was alienated by her friends and teachers over the incident.

She said she would like for the school to apologize to her daughter.

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