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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Two tornadoes were reported on Thursday in South Dakota and Wisconsin, a waterspout was seen near New Orleans, and the Upper Midwest, especially Minnesota, could see more severe storms on Friday.

This is all happening as most of the rest of the U.S. will be roasting in a heatwave that could produce record highs, especially on the East Coast.

Chicago, Philadelphia and New York are expecting their hottest weather in at least seven years, as Washington, D.C., may see the highest temps in three years.

Denver on Thursday tied a record high at 99 degrees, as 33 states on Friday, from New Mexico to Maine, are under heat alerts for heat index temps ranging from 100 to 115 degrees.

Excessive heat is expected to continue through the weekend.

After the heatwave, temperatures will dip back down next week, with highs struggling to reach the 80s in the Midwest and Northeast.

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400tmax/iStock(CHICAGO) -- Four Chicago police officers have been fired over their alleged cover-up of the 2014 murder of a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, by former officer Jason Van Dyke.

The Chicago Police Board voted on Thursday to discharge Sgt. Stephen Franko and officers Janet Modragon, Daphne Sebastian and Ricardo Viramontes. They have the right to appeal the decision, which went into effect immediately.

"The department is bound by the decision of the board," Chicago Police Department spokesman Thomas Ahern told ABC News in a statement Thursday night. "The affected members have further options they may exercise if they so choose."

The four former officers were accused of making false statements about the shooting, which took place on the night of Oct. 20, 2014. Van Dkye, who fired 16 shots at the 17-year-old McDonald in a span of 15 seconds, was convicted by a jury last year of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.

The Chicago Police Board wrote in its findings and decision that Franko "failed to properly supervise his officers" that night, nearly five years ago. The sergeant reviewed and approved "critical case reports" that contained "several demonstrable and known falsehoods," according to the board.

Meanwhile, Modragon, Sebastian and Viramontes were all present when McDonald was killed. They gave statements that night to a detective and again early the next morning to Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority, according to the board.

"It was their statements that would be used by the investigators to determine whether the fatal shooting of Mr. McDonald was justified -- or whether a crime by their fellow officer had been committed," the board wrote. "As sworn officers, each understood the importance of their statements to that investigation and understood that their statements must be truthful and complete. Each of the three officers failed in their duty -- either by outright lying or by shading the truth."

The Chicago police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, lambasted the board's ruling, saying it will "no doubt lead to more violence in the city and quite likely more violence against the police."

"These officers served the citizens of this city with courage, integrity, and adherence to the rule of law," Martin Preib, second vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said in a statement. "Too bad you couldn’t do the same."

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WPVI-TV(PHILADELPHIA) -- A man seen scaling the outside of a 19-story apartment building to escape a fire in Philadelphia on Thursday night made it to ground level unharmed.

Four residents and three police officers were injured, ABC Philadelphia station WPVI-TV reported.

Fire crews are investigating the cause of the blaze, which began around 9:30 p.m. in the 4400 block of Holden Street.

The fire may have begun in a trash compactor, according to WPVI.

The building was evacuated, but several residents remain unaccounted for.

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groveb/iStock(CHICAGO) -- Three children, all American citizens, were detained for several hours at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Thursday after their adult companion was deemed "inadmissible" by U.S. authorities and their undocumented parents declined to pick them up out of fear of deportation.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed that the three children arrived at the airport with a female Mexican citizen that officers determined did not have a valid visa.

"Officers have attempted numerous times today to reach family members to pick up the children," according to a CBP statement. "As of 2 p.m. CST CBP Officers are still awaiting a legal guardian to arrive and pick the children up."

Officials said the mother has since picked up the children "without incident."

A government official familiar with the case told ABC News that the authorities did not know the parents were undocumented when they called them and the children were not detained in an attempt to trap the parents.

CBP has not said, however, why the adult was denied entry.

Iriz Gutteriez Berrios, a staff attorney for the West Suburban Action Project, or PASO, said the children -- girls ages 13, 10 and 9 -- were detained upon arrival from Mexico at 3 a.m. The adult traveling with them was a cousin with a valid visa, the group said.

Berrios said the group became aware of the situation after getting called by the Mexican Consulate, which had been contacted by the parents who were afraid that the detention was a trap to detain and deport them.

Around noon, PASO founder Mony Ruiz-Velasco arrived at the airport with signed permission from the parents, giving her permission to get the kids at the airport, the group said.

That permission was apparently not enough, and the kids were not released until the mother arrived. She was not arrested.

The advocacy group PASO said her fear was founded.

"We’ve seen other scenarios where someone is picking someone else up, in this case the parents had the instinct to call someone else before responding to CBP," said Gutteriez Berrios.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Democratic Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky learned of the situation shortly after landing at O’Hare and went there to help the family.

"I feel that it’s a kind of kidnapping of children by our government and I am really fed up," Schakowsky told the paper.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker tweeted he was in touch with CBP officials about the case, saying "using children as pawns to advance a racist and xenophobic immigration policy is appalling and un-American, and I will not let it stand in Illinois."

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Kuzma/iStock(CHICAGO) -- The mother-daughter duo accused of murdering a pregnant teen and cutting the baby from her body are now being charged in the death of the child.

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was 9 months pregnant when she was killed, and the baby was cut from her body and taken to a nearby hospital, where it later died.

Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and Desiree Figueroa, 26, were already charged with the first-degree murder of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez and on Thursday, prosecutors announced that they will be charging the pair with the murder of her baby boy as well, officials confirmed to ABC News.

Clarisa Figueroa allegedly passed the newborn off as her own when she brought the child to a Chicago hospital, authorities said. She is alleged to have gotten in touch with Ochoa-Lopez through Facebook after the teen responded to a post about free baby clothes.

The baby boy, which the family later named Yovanny Jadiel Lopez, was treated in the neonatal intensive care unit at a Chicago area hospital.

The child died in mid-June after more than seven weeks in the hospital.

Clarisa Figueroa's 40-year-old boyfriend Piotr Bobak has been charged with helping to cover up the alleged crime.

Both women had pleaded not guilty to the murder charge against Ochoa-Lopez, ABC Chicago station WLS-TV reported.

They have not entered pleas on the new murder charges.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office confirmed that the new first degree murder charges were approved and both Clarisa and Desiree Figueroa appeared for a bail hearing Thursday and were denied bail.

They are due in court on the new charges on Aug. 6.

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Nastasic/iStock(LOS ANGELES) -- Authorities in Southern California have conducted a massive drug bust that includes 14.9 tons of illegally-grown marijuana in one area.

In addition to the drugs, investigators also found 37 guns, multiple dogs and a honey oil lab at the properties in the Perris area, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. The dogs are now safe, authorities said.

Authorities were serving 48 search warrants in the area and have made 27 arrests.

Photos tweeted by the sheriff's department show plants being pulled from the ground and being placed into vans for transport. 

Current preliminary stats: 32 search warrants served at illegal grows, 1 BHO lab, 21 guns, 5.9 tons #marijuana, 10 arrest. We have no additional releasable information at this time. #weedbegone #marijuana #420nomore #illegalgrows #sheriff #riversidecounty #riversidesheriff https://t.co/YolYIkH5uP pic.twitter.com/E2qZBx4kP7

— Riverside County Sheriff's Dept (@RSO) July 18, 2019

Other photos show deputies comforting the dogs they found on the properties.

So what did we find at these illegal marijuana grows? - Dogs and guns. The dogs are ok #RCDAS and the guns were taken as evidence. currents stats: 48 search warrants, 27 arrest, 37 guns, and 14.9 tons of illegal marijuana. #riversidecounty #sheriff #perrisarea #illegalgrows pic.twitter.com/XaHj3qryF7

— Riverside County Sheriff's Dept (@RSO) July 18, 2019

Aerial footage taken by ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV shows workers as they confiscate massive amounts of cannabis plants from the property.

Additional information was not released.

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ABC News(MIAMI) -- A boater was attacked and injured, possibly by a shark off the coast of Miami on Thursday afternoon, officials said.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded about 12:40 p.m. to an emergency call from a boater who had been diving in an area about 2 miles off the Haulover inlet just north of Miami Beach, Erika Benitez, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in a video statement.

Benitez said an emergency crew raced to the victim by boat and took the individual to a local hospital.

The condition of the injured person was not immediately clear.

The possible shark attack came just days after two people were injured in what appear to be separate shark attacks at the same beach in Florida.

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Rick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A federal judge has denied bail to accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.

Judge Richard Berman made the decision over the objections of defense attorneys who had argued that the wealthy financier was a “disciplined” defendant willing to pay a bond of $100 million or more.

Federal prosecutors objected, saying the court “cannot rely on the self-discipline of a man with an appetite for children.”

Epstein, appearing before the judge in a navy smock and brown T-shirt, appeared to have no visible reaction to the decision ordering him remanded to pre-trial detention. He was led off by marshals without speaking to his attorneys.

Berman said the government established “by clear and convincing evidence" that Epstein is a danger to others, and noted the “compelling” testimony of Courtney Wild and Annie Farmer, two alleged victims who earlier this week spoke in court against bail.

Wild, who said she was 14 when she was brought to Epstein’s Palm Beach, Florida, estate, called him “scary.” Farmer said she was 16 when she was trafficked in New

The judge also noted what was found in a locked safe inside Epstein’s Upper East Side Manhattan mansion: $70,000 in cash, an assortment of diamonds, and an expired Austrian passport with Epstein’s photo but not his name.

Berman said prosecutors established risk of flight “by a preponderance of the evidence.”

Epstein, 66, has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of minor girls. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

The defense had invoked Bernie Madoff, Enron’s Jeff Skilling and other high profile defendants who were granted bail, though none of them were accused of sex crimes involving minors which, by law, presumes the defendant will be remanded to pre-trial custody, the judge said.

Cases involving these kind of accusations “are unusual in the criminal law insofar as they carry with them a presumption that ‘No condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required, and the safety of the community,’” Berman said during bail arguments.

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WABC-TV(NEW YORK) -- Two workers were injured and nearby residents were temporarily placed under a shelter-in-place order after a fire caused a chemical reaction at the Diamond Chemical Co., according to New Jersey authorities.

Rutherford police announced on Thursday at around 2:30 p.m. that a chemical problem had been reported in East Rutherford.

"Shelter in Place and turn off your air conditioners on the east side of town immediately," the department wrote in a Facebook post. "A Shelter-in-Place is in effect and the east side of town should turn off air conditioning units as well immediately. East side of town is from Ridge Road to the meadows. This is for residences and businesses.."

Officials said that the fire was caused by machines being unmonitored, according to ABC News station WABC-TV. All of the workers were able to evacuate the plant. The police said that hazmat was checking the air quality and had reported no bad readings.

"Everybody just scrambled out," worker Jimmy Ellis told WABC-TV. "We saw it. We cut off our machines and we started scrambling out the exits. And then all of the sudden, as we got to the back of the railroad tracks, then the alarm went off."

A little after 4 p.m., hazmat teams completed additional air quality checks and determined that it was safe to lift the shelter-in-place order, according to Rutherford police.

Residents were told that they could turn their air-conditioning units on again.

The injuries to the workers at the Diamond Chemical Co. were minor, according to ABC News station WABC-TV.

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vmargineanu/iStock(STONE COUNTY, Ark.) -- An Arkansas sheriff’s deputy was killed Thursday morning in a shooting that left one other person wounded and the suspected killer dead, police said.

Mike Stephens, 56, was identified as the Stone County Sheriff's deputy that was killed in the incident, Arkansas State Police Spokesman Bill Sadler said at a press conference. The suspected shooter was also killed in the incident, but it was not immediately clear whether he took his own life or if he was shot by other deputies. He has not been identified.

Stephens was a 20-year veteran of law enforcement and a U.S. Army veteran, Stone County Chief Deputy Sheriff Zach Alexander said at the press conference.

"Every action that he's ever done, he always would be the first guy in somewhere and last one out," Alexander said.

Authorities were called to a home in the rural area of Leslie at 8:02 a.m. over a domestic welfare check, Sadler said. Stephens arrived at 8:39 a.m. and encountered a woman who he began talking to before gunfire quickly erupted.

Stephens was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman, who was not identified, was wounded and taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to Sadler.

Sadler noted that the amount of time it took Stephens to reach the scene was because of how far away from the home he was when he got the call to respond. He declined to say whether officials had ever been called to the home before.

Earlier Wednesday, the Stone County Office of Emergency Management said in a tweet that the coroner was headed to the scene. Stephens and the suspect's body were taken to a crime lab to be examined for forensic evidence.

Agents with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division are investigating the incident.

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Bastiaan Slabbers/iStock(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Philadelphia police commissioner has suspended 17 officers for 30 days and is moving to fire 14 of them over disturbing social media posts.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross made the announcement during a news conference Thursday, attended by Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney and the entire police department's command staff.

The disciplinary action stems from research uncovered by the watchdog group the Plain View Project, which examined more than 3,100 troubling Facebook posts made by 328 active Philadelphia police officers.

Ross said an investigation by an outside law firm contracted by the city found that the officers being suspended allegedly made racist and hateful posts.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.


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Wolterk/iStock(ODESSA, Texas) -- A 15-year-old boy in Odessa, Texas, was arrested and charged after he was caught on supermarket surveillance footage spitting into an Arizona tea bottle then putting it back on the shelf.

Odessa police were dispatched Monday to Albertsons, a supermarket in Odessa, after a store employee witnessed the act, according to police Corporal Steve LeSueur.

An officer reviewed the store footage, where the boy was seen taking a drink of the Arizona tea bottle before putting it back.

The boy admitted to both store employees and police that he had spit in the drink and put it back.

"It was gross," the boy told police when explaining his rationale.

Gross or not, the offense is a second degree felony in the state of Texas. LeSueur said this is "something we take very seriously."

The 15-year-old was sent to be held at the Ector County Youth Center. He has been charged with tampering with a consumer product.

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artran/iStock(HONOLULU) -- After a dramatic rescue in Hawaii's high surf, ocean safety officials on the island have doubled down on the importance of adhering to posted warnings.

A married couple from Oklahoma on vacation in Oahu allegedly ignored warnings for a photo opp and got swept out to sea by one of the biggest swells of the year.

Witnesses told ABC News that the couple fell into the ocean after they went down a cliff, past warning signs to a remote area in hopes of taking photos. While witness Chevz Rafael took video, his wife, who did not want to be named, called 911.

The raucous waves separated the couple, and Rafael captured footage of the woman drifting away as waves began to crash overhead.

Lt. Kawika Eckart, who oversees the lifeguards that conducted the couple's rescue Sunday, told ABC News the team in Hanauma Bay was prepared for anything.

"We had a jet ski operator in the ocean already due to the high surf; they responded from around the coast and met up with the [other] two lifeguards," Eckart said. "We put them on our jet ski and brought them into Hanauma Bay."

Shayne Enright, the PIO officer for Honolulu Emergency Services Department, told ABC News she reached out to the couple, who has not been identified, and confirmed they are in stable condition.

Eckart, who has been a lifeguard for 30 years, said this is not the first time onlookers have risked their safety for a picture in unsafe conditions on a cliff coastline with no lifeguard on duty.

"People tend to want to take that picture and end up getting swept out into the ocean. For us to respond, it takes time. You're not at a guarded beach," he explained. "By that time there could be trouble."

The lifeguards, who arrived within nine minutes, credited the bystanders for keeping an eye on the couple and immediately calling for help.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- More than 200 damaging storms were reported on Wednesday, with most of those in the Midwest or along the Interstate 95 corridor.

In Connecticut, lightning struck a tree, knocking a branch onto a car and killing a 21-year-old man inside. Six tornadoes were reported across Minnesota, Wyoming and Nebraska, while flash flooding was seen from South Dakota all the way into New York City.

The Upper Midwest could see severe storms on Thursday that include damaging winds, large hail and a few tornadoes.

More than 30 states, from New Mexico to New Hampshire, are under heat alerts Thursday morning, with the heat index in some parts of the Plains reaching 112.

The core of the hottest air is expected to spread from the Plains into Chicago and Detroit, where it should feel like more than 110 degrees.

By Saturday, the highest heat indices will hit the Northeast, where Philadelphia and New York City will feel about 110.

More heat is expected on Sunday as well.

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Slavica/iStock(FAIRFIELD, Conn.) -- A young man was killed in Connecticut amid stormy weather Wednesday evening when a large tree branch that was struck by lightning fell on his car, authorities said.

Jarrod Marotto, 21, was driving along a residential street in Fairfield, Connecticut, when lightning struck a nearby cottonwood tree, causing a large limb to fall and land on the driver's side of Marotto's vehicle, according to the Fairfield Police Department.

First responders found Marotto unconscious in the driver's seat. Marotto, of Southington, Connecticut, was taken to a local hospital where he died, police said.

There was no one else in the car at the time of the incident, which is still under investigation, policed said.

A severe thunderstorm watch was issued Wednesday night across the Northeast region for Wednesday night, from Philadelphia to Boston.

Forecasters warned of damaging wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour and potential flash flooding.

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WJTN News Headlines for July 18, 2019

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