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Marcus Ingram/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- While most commencement speakers offer words of encouragement to college graduates headed into the cold and cruel work world, billionaire philanthropist Robert Smith left the class of 2019 at Morehouse University inspired and astonished by his pledge to "put a little fuel in your bus."

During his keynote graduation address on Sunday at the historically-black, all-male Atlanta college, Smith, the chief executive officer of the San Francisco-based Vista Equity Partners, promised to pay off the student loans of the nearly 400 graduates, a pledge estimated to cost him $40 million.

"On behalf of the eight generations of my family who have been in this country, we're going to put a little fuel in your bus," Smith told the 396 graduates in a surprise announcement.

Pointing out the alumni seated in the audience, Smith said, "This is my class, 2019," and challenged them to follow his lead.

"My family is making a grant to eliminate their student loans," Smith said.

The pronouncement prompted a jaw-dropping standing ovation from the graduates and their families, and chants of "MVP! MVP!"

But Smith, ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the richest people in America with an estimated net worth of $4.4 billion, said he had one request from the beneficiaries of his generosity.

"Now, I know my class will make sure they pay this forward," Smith said. "I want my class to look at these alumni, these beautiful Morehouse brothers, and let's make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward."

Smith, 56, who graduated from Cornell University and Columbia University Business School, received an honorary degree from Morehouse on Sunday. Back in January, he donated $1.5 million to Morehouse to create the Robert Frederick Smith Scholars Program and a park at the school.

Morehouse President David Anthony Thomas told reporters after the graduation that the average Morehouse student leaves school $30,000 or more in debt.

He said he was stunned by Smith's announcement. He added that he had spoken to Smith on Saturday night about student debt being one of the biggest challenges graduates of Morehouse faced, but he had no idea what Smith was going to do a few hours later.

"To remove that burden allows them to start this phase of their lives with so much more potential than they ever had when they sat down this morning because they can now do anything they want to do and nothing because they have to pay that debt," Thomas said.

He said that in his 30-plus years in academia, "I've never seen anything like this."

"Three-hundred-and-ninety-six individuals will have their debt wiped out thanks to Robert F. Smith," Thomas said.

Graduate John Jacob Burns of New Rochelle, New York, was "amazed" by Smith's grant, and said he has $35,000 in student loans.

"Even graduating from Morehouse was a tremendous blessing," Burns told ABC News. "To get all my debt paid off after that...that was like something I couldn't even imagine.

"Throughout his speech, he talked about a commitment to black people and he obviously demonstrated it at the end of the speech," Burns, who plans to go to graduate school at the University of Chicago on a full scholarship, said of Smith.

Burns' father, Carney Burns, who graduated from Morehouse in 1988, said that initially he couldn't believe what he heard Smith say, and had to ask people all around him if it was true.

"After each person confirmed to me, yes, in fact, what he said is true, it was elation, it was surprise, but most of all it was respect for someone who stepped forward and did such a meaningful act for so many people," the senior Burns told ABC News.

Graduate Ernest Holmes of Sayreville, New Jersey, said he and his classmates were overwhelmed by Smith's announcement.

"When he announced that he was going to pay off all our student debt, it was like a brief moment of disbelief and then immediately everyone went into tears, into hugging, into crying together," Holmes told ABC News, adding that he has $10,000 in student loans.

Holmes, who earned degrees in computer science and mathematics, said he's already accepted a software engineering job at Google and plans to fulfill Smith’s wish that he and his classmates return his benevolence by paying it forward. He said he plans to be part of the $100,000 club, Morehouse alumni who give back that amount to the school.

"So that's one of my goals within the next 10 years," Holmes said.

Smith's pledge came a month after a Wall Street Journal report showed that the student debt crisis was hitting historically black colleges like Morehouse the hardest.

The report also found that graduates of historically black colleges failed to pay down even $1 of their original student loan balance in the first few years out of school, and that the amount of money parents borrowed in 2017-2018 to put their children through those schools had spiked 33 percent compared to 2000-2001, even when adjusted for inflation.

"This is your moment graduates. Between doubt and destiny is action. Between our community and the American dream is leadership. That's your leadership. That's your destiny. This doesn't mean ignoring injustice. It means using your strength to right order," Smith told the graduates.

"True wealth comes from contributing to the liberation of people and the liberation of communities we come from depends upon grit and determination, and the greatness inside of you."

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iStock/wellesenterprises(NEW YORK) --  He survived the Columbine High School mass shooting, but a 20-year battle with drug addiction that followed, one that Austin Eubanks had publicly said started with pills given to ease his pain from bullet wounds suffered in the 1999 rampage, has now cost him his life, his family said.

Eubanks, 37, was found dead in his home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, on Saturday morning. While an autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death, his family says they already know what killed him.

He "lost the battle with the very disease he fought so hard to help others face," his family said in a statement.

Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg told ABC affiliate station KMGH-TV in Denver that Eubanks died sometime late Friday or early Saturday. He said no evidence of foul play was found in his home.

Eubanks had seemed to be in recovery from his addiction, speaking to millions of people across the nation about the ravages of opioids and the "emotional pain" he said doctors were failing to treat.

"As you can imagine, we are beyond shocked and saddened," his family's statement reads.

On April 20, 1999, Eubanks was in the library at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, with his best friend, Corey DePooter, waiting for other classmates to go to lunch, when teenage gunmen Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, launched what at the time was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history to occur at a high school.

"A teacher ran through the same door that we had just entered, yelling for everybody to get under the tables, that somebody had a gun," Eubanks recalled in a 2017 Tedx Mile High Talk. "I remember how I felt: I was confused, I was afraid, I felt sick and I was vulnerable. And just minutes later, I was playing dead underneath a table next to a pool of blood. I had just been shot and I witnessed my best friend murdered right in front of me as we were huddled together waiting for help to come."

Eubanks, then 17, was shot in the hand and leg in the rampage that claimed the lives of 12 students and a teacher, and ended with the gunmen taking their own lives.

"I often think back to my pain that day," he said in the Tedx Mile High talk. "And if I were to rate it on a pain scale, my physical pain would have been a 3 or a 4, and that was likely the response I offered when I was asked. But my emotional pain was an absolute 10. I was in agony beyond comprehension. But that was never asked, it was never talked about.”

Within an hour after fleeing the library, he was given sedatives in a hospital to relieve his pain.

"I was addicted before I even knew what was happening," Eubanks said, adding that prior to the day of the attack he had never drank alcohol or smoked marijuana.

In a 2016 interview with KMGH, Eubanks said he didn't seek help for his addiction until six years after the Columbine attack, and that it was another six years before he got sober.

"I was 29 years old before I found lasting sobriety and I think it took a level of maturity and willingness on my part to do what it takes and, for me, I had to change pretty much everything about my life," he told KMGH.

In numerous speeches and interviews, Eubanks used his story of survival and recovery to inspire others nationwide.

“I think that it's really important that -- not as survivors of trauma but survivors of addiction -- speak out and they share their story,” Eubanks said. “Just because you never know when your story is going to change the life of somebody else.”

Eubanks' death follows the apparent suicides of two students who survived the Feb. 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the apparent suicide of a father whose young daughter was killed in the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012.

Calvin Desir, 16, and Sydney Aiello, 19, who both survived the Parkland shooting that killed 17 people, were found dead within a week of each other in March from apparent suicides, officials said.

On March 25, Jeremy Richman, 49, whose 6-year-old daughter, Avielle, was among the 26 children and educators killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook, apparently took his own life.

Richman appeared last year on ABC News' "10% Happier" podcast, telling host Dan Harris that losing Avielle was "infinite heartbreak."

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Fort Worth Police(FORT WORTH, TX) -- Authorities have found an 8-year-old girl following a desperate overnight search after she was ripped away from her mother and pulled into a stranger's car on Saturday afternoon.

The girl was safely recovered by Fort Worth, Texas, police just after 2 a.m. local time Sunday, according to police. She was found safe and a suspect in the kidnapping has been taken into custody.

Police thanked the media for publicizing the incident and concerned citizens for directing them to the location of the suspect's vehicle.

Fort Worth Police Department Officer Buddy Calzada said at a press conference early Sunday that two citizens spotted the car at a local hotel and called police. Officers responded, found out what room he was staying in and breached the door.

The victim was found in good condition, but was taken to a local hospital to be checked out.

Late Sunday morning, police identified the suspect as Michael Webb, who is 51 years old. He was charged with aggravated kidnapping, which is a first-degree felony.

Police said Webb was not related to the mother or her daughter.

An Amber Alert was issued for the 8-year-old after she was kidnapped on Saturday afternoon, police said.

The girl and her mother were walking in their neighborhood at 6:38 p.m. local time when Webb allegedly man drove up and dragged her into his car, according to Fort Worth police.

Surveillance video from a nearby house shows her mother tumbling to the ground after trying to pull her daughter free from the vehicle. The car drove off and she immediately called 911 while running back to her house.

Her mother can be heard screaming, “Help me please, someone call the police, my daughter just got kidnapped."

Police released a photo of the vehicle taken from a nearby camera. It is a gray, four-door sedan with alloy wheels and a paper tag.

Calzada said members of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Public Safety helped in the search.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The second day of an outbreak of severe weather Saturday brought 10 reported tornadoes to to the Plains, part of 38 reported tornadoes since Friday.

In addition to the tornadoes, widespread damaging winds have been reported, with gusts as high as 78 mph in parts of Oklahoma on Saturday.

There was a tornado watch in effect Sunday morning for parts of Louisiana and Mississippi until 10 a.m. Central time as a line of powerful storms with widespread damaging winds moved through the region. There were reports of a dangerous and large tornado in Beauregard Parish, Louisiana, early Sunday morning.

The severe risk will be less intense Sunday, but it will move east into some major population areas. However, attention will turn immediately to the next system, which will bring another round of severe weather.

On Monday, a new system will develop off the High Plains and slide east into the Southern Plains. The dry line will interact with an increasingly moist and unstable air mass that will develop across parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Unfortunately, that means very favorable conditions for violent severe weather in parts of this region.

There is a moderate risk for severe weather in parts of Oklahoma and Texas, including Oklahoma City, on Monday. There is a chance for violent, long-track tornadoes, destructive winds and very large hail in this region. Additionally, damaging winds, large hail and strong tornadoes will be possible across parts of the Southern Plains from Midland, Texas, to Wichita, Kansas.

In addition to the severe weather threat, torrential rain will likely cause flash flooding, especially in parts of this region already saturated from storm activity the last few months.

Locally, 4 to 6 inches of rain is possible in parts of the Southern Plains over the next few days. Torrential rain, causing flash flooding, combined with potentially extremely dangerous severe weather, will likely make this a life-threatening weather event in parts of this region.

The severe weather threat will move into parts of eastern Texas to western Illinois on Tuesday. However, the atmosphere will begin to lose some of the ingredients that are needed to have widespread intense severe weather.

Meanwhile, there is a separate severe weather threat on Sunday for parts of the Midwest and Northeast, including parts of the Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia metro areas.

Storms will likely fire up during the afternoon and persist into the evening hours. Damaging winds, large hail and brief tornadoes are possible.

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Portland Police Bureau(PORTLAND) -- The "hero" football coach who disarmed an alleged gunman at an Oregon high school said Saturday he "put his life on the line" for his students because he didn't have "any other choice but to act."

Keanon Lowe, who coaches football and track and field at Parkrose High School, wrestled the alleged gunman, Angel Granados Dias, 18, to the ground when police say the suspect brought a weapon on campus Friday afternoon.

Lowe appeared on "Good Morning America" on Sunday morning to describe the chaotic moment. He said he was radioed to the Fine Arts Building, unaware of the situation.

"I walk into a classroom, ask if the student's there. I'm in the classroom there for 15 or 20 seconds and the door opens and there is a student with a shotgun," Lowe told "GMA." "Everything happened so fast and it was the longest fraction of a second of my life, but I kind of assessed that situation and my instincts kicked in.

"I lunged for the gun and we both had the gun, we had four hands on the gun. Students are running out of the back of the classroom and I'm just trying to make sure the end of the gun isn't pointing toward where the students are running."

Lowe wrote about the moment on Twitter Saturday afternoon for the first time.

"When I signed up to be a Security Guard, Football and Track & Field Coach for Parkrose High School, I did so to guide and coach young people whose shoes I had once been in," he tweeted Saturday. "I had no idea, that I would one day have to put my life on the line like I did yesterday for my students."

Lowe said when Granados Dias allegedly went to the school and put his students in danger, there was no option but to try to stop him.

"When confronted with the test the universe presented me with, I didn't see any other choice but to act," he continued in the tweet. "Thank God, I passed."

No one was injured in the Friday afternoon scare, police said.

"I'm blessed to be alive and extremely happy that the students are safe," Lowe tweeted.

Officers apprehended Granados Dias and recovered the weapon he allegedly brought to the school. He was charged with possession of firearm in a public building, attempting to discharge a firearm at a school, reckless endangerment, and possession of a loaded firearm in a public place, police said.

Students told ABC affiliate KATU-TV that Lowe, formerly a star wide receiver with the University of Oregon Ducks, saved the day.

"He's a hero," one student told KATU on Friday.

A police sergeant said the shooting threat ended with the "best-case scenario."

"The staff members from all accounts did an excellent job," said Portland Police Sergeant Brad Yakots.

Police said the investigation was ongoing.

But Lowe said the experience has been a blur, and has made him reflect on life and gun violence in schools.

"I've spent the last 24 hours being more appreciative of my family and realizing we have a serious problem," he said.

"I'm not sure what's next, I haven't had the time to really think about it," he added. "But I am sure I want to be a part of the solution to school gun violence."

 

I'm blessed to be alive and extremely happy that the students are safe. I'm not sure what's next, I haven't had the time to really think about it. But I am sure I want to be a part of the solution to school gun violence. Thank you @PortlandPolice for your help #ParkroseHighSchool

— Keanon Lowe (@KeanonLowe) May 18, 2019

 

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iStock/RyanJLane(INDIANAPOLIS) -- Indianapolis police are investigating the death of a baby who had been in a hot car on Saturday as temperatures climbed into the 80s.

Emergency personnel were called to an AutoZone parking lot after a baby was found unresponsive in an SUV at about 4:45 p.m., the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.

"EMS transported the baby to Riley [Hospital for Children] where despite the best efforts of medical staff, the baby died," police said in a release.

The mother of the child was taken in by homicide detectives to be interviewed.

No charges have been filed at this time.

"This is still considered a death investigation at this time," police said in a release. "If it is ruled a homicide a formal brief will follow."

The Marion County Coroner's Office will conduct an autopsy on Monday to determine the exact cause of death.

The temperature in Indianapolis on Saturday was 85 degrees -- the hottest day in the city so far this year.

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iStock/Marilyn Nieves(CHICAGO) -- Grim new details have emerged about the murder of a pregnant teenager whose baby was cut from her womb, as prosecutors described how the teen was lured by a Facebook ad for free baby clothes and her accused killer claimed the baby as her own.

"Words really cannot express how disgusting and thoroughly disturbing these allegations are," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a news conference.

Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was 9 months pregnant when she was killed and she is survived by a 3-year-old child. Her baby is in grave condition at a hospital with no brain activity, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors in Chicago have charged Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter Desiree Figueroa, 24, with the murder. At the news conference, they detailed what they say happened in excruciating detail.

They allege that Clarisa Figueroa posted an offer of free baby clothes on a Facebook page called "Help a Mother Out," which they described as a group that offers access to baby items for "families in need," and that Ochoa-Lopez responded to the post and arranged to meet Figueroa at her Chicago-area home.

Desiree Figueroa is alleged to have distracted Ochoa-Lopez with a photo album of Clarisa Figueroa's dead adult son so that Clarisa Figueroa could strangle the teen with a cable.

At one point, Ochoa-Lopez was able to slip her fingers between her neck and the cable, keeping herself from being strangled, and, according to Murphy, this prompted the elder Figueroa to yell at her daughter, "you're not doing your f------ job!"

"Defendant Desiree then stepped up and began to peel the victim's fingers from the cable one by one," Assistant State's Attorney James Murphy told reporters.

Clarisa and Desiree Figueroa have been charged with murder, while Clarisa Figueroa's 40-year-old boyfriend Piotr Bobak has been charged with helping to cover up the alleged crime. All three appeared in Cook County Court Friday and were denied release on bail.

Julie Contreras, the spokeswoman for Ochoa-Lopez's family, said that the family is asking for "justice for Marlen."

"Today is a sad day. Today is a day of anguish that this family is living through. A nightmare, a horror film," Contreras told reporters at court.

Murphy said that following Ochoa-Lopez's murder, Clarisa Figueroa brought the baby to a nearby hospital, where it was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. Clarisa Figueroa then allegedly formed a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise money for the baby, who she was passing off as her own.

Bobak shared a link to the fundraiser on his Facebook page, Murphy said.

When police arrived at Figueroa's house on May 14 to execute a search warrant, police reportedly saw Bobak cleaning a rug with bleach.

Police later found Ochoa-Lopez's body in a trash can on the property. Investigators believe the murder took place on April 23.

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Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) - Rashema Melson is no stranger to adversity. The 23-year-old, who had lived for three years in a Washington, D.C. shelter, made headlines as the valedictorian of Anacostia High School’s Class of 2014 with a full scholarship to Georgetown University.

On Saturday, Melson graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in justice and peace studies -- the first person in her family to graduate from college. Her next steps are a job at a service organization in D.C. and law school, she told ABC affiliate WJLA-TV.

Melson spoke with ABC News last week, sharing her path to graduation and some of the hardships she endured throughout her life.

She grew up in southeast D.C., bouncing between public housing and homelessness, living in the infamous D.C. General Family Shelter -- the notoriously-troubled mega-shelter which closed last October.

She even, at one point, lived in an abandoned house. Melson said she used to wake up to the sting of bed bug bites, constantly changed schools and ate food straight from the can because there were no plates.

“My life has always been rough,” Melson told ABC News. “Homeless or not, in Southeast, it’s rough, regardless," she explained. "The circumstances are just rough due to the fact that we don’t have the tools or resources as everyone else.”

Reading and education helped Melson focus and imagine a different life for herself, and the support of her friends motivated her to finish her studies. She left Georgetown after her freshman year to get married, and when the marriage didn't work out, it was her friends who successfully urged her to return to Georgetown and complete her degree.

To people going through difficult situations, her advice is that things always get better in time.

"Just know that your blessing is there waiting for you, you just have to go get it," she said.

Melson told ABC News that she hopes someday that Americans will be able to entertain a more expansive view of homelessness.

“How do you know that I am homeless? Because, am I supposed to look dirty? Am I supposed to stink? What does that mean?” she wondered aloud.

“It’s not offensive when people do it but you really can’t tell anything from looking at a person.”

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KTRK-TV(HOUSTON) -- The mother of a four-year-old Houston girl who has been missing for two weeks says she hopes her child is still alive, even as suspicion mounts that her ex-fiance might have had a role in the girl's murder.

"As a mother, I want to hope that she is (still alive)," Brittany Autumn Bowens, 26, told ABC station KTRK-TV in Houston. Her daughter, Maleah Davis, has been missing since May 3. "I'm devastated. This is my daughter, that I carried."

Last Saturday, Texas prosecutors charged Derion Vence, 26, Bowens' former fiance who was living with the family when Maleah disappeared, with tampering with evidence. In setting bail at $1 million, the Texas judge noted that Davis had recently suffered a brain injury and undergone surgery while in Vence and Bowens' care.

Surveillance footage shows Maleah and Vence walking into the family's apartment on April 30 -- the same day that Bowens left town for her father's funeral -- and after that, Maleah was not seen again, according to KTRK-TV. Additional surveillance footage from a neighbor shows Vence leaving the couple's apartment on May 3 with his son and a laundry basket.

Later, police found a laundry basket in Bowens' car and cadaver-sniffing dogs detected the scent of human remains in the car.

Prosecutors also said that police found blood in the apartment that matched Davis's DNA.

During Vence's court appearance, prosecutors detailed what Vence had told police about the little girl's disappearance.

Vence said that he left the apartment on May 3 with Maleah and his son in Bowens' Nissan Altima.

When he stopped to check the car's tires, Vence told police, he was carjacked, assaulted and kidnapped by a group of people he described as Hispanic men. Vence said that when he regained consciousness, his son was with him but Bowens' daughter was not. He said a good Samaritan then drove him to the hospital, according to prosecutors.

Bowen told KTRK that she had been away from home to bury her deceased father, and had returned to find out that her daughter had disappeared.

"How did I get to this place?" Bowens said through sobs.

When asked why she had left Davis with Vence, she said, "Because I trusted him."

"I am a good mother. I'm hurting just like everybody else and I want answers too," Bowens said.

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iStock(NEW YORK) -- A NYPD officer allegedly paid her boyfriend $7,000 to help her hire a hit man to murder her estranged husband and the boyfriend's teen daughter, according to court records.

But the boyfriend turned out to be cooperating with authorities, and following a dramatic law enforcement ruse in which the cop was shown a picture on Friday morning of her husband appearing to be dead in his car, she allegedly began discussing her alibi with the boyfriend in case she was questioned, according to court records.

The boyfriend was wearing a recording device, according to authorities, and the entire conversation was captured on audio and video.

That's when investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the New York Police Department (NYPD) moved in and arrested her.

Officer Valerie Cincinelli, 34, of Oceanside in Nassau County on Long Island, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and held without bail following a hearing late Friday afternoon.

Prosecutors argued in a detention memo filed in court on Friday that "the evidence in this case is overwhelming."

"The defendant was captured on audio and video recording planning the murders, and, once she was advised that the murder of John Doe was effected, she was captured on audio and video planning her alibi and destroying evidence of her involvement in the crime."

Cincinelli, who has been on the job since 2007, had been on modified assignment since 2017 because of prior domestic incidents involving the boyfriend and the estranged husband, law enforcement sources said.

In the memo, prosecutors noted that Cincinelli's first husband obtained a restraining order against her in 2014, that both she and her estranged husband have existing restraining orders against each other, and that she had a "volatile history" with the boyfriend -- who tipped off authorities to the alleged murder plot.

Cincinelli first approached the boyfriend about having her estranged husband -- and his teen daughter -- murdered in February, and continued discussions with him in person and on the phone, according to court records.

The boyfriend told her he knew someone who would commit the murders for $7,000, which he would convert into gold coins to pay off the hit man. Cincinelli allegedly withdrew the $7,000 in cash from a Long Island bank in February, court records show. He then used the money to purchase five ounces of gold coins, according to authorities. The murders were supposed to take place last weekend, officials said in court records.

The estranged husband was to be murdered near his office on Long Island, and Cincinelli and the boyfriend allegedly discussed how the killing "would not look suspicious because the murder would take place in 'the hood' or 'the ghetto,'" according to court records.

At one point, according to court records, Cincinelli seemed to become anxious about why the boyfriend's teen daughter had not yet been killed. After the boyfriend allegedly informed her that the hit man would not commit the murder near the child's school.

"OK, so she leaves school, you said he knows exactly where she lives, right?" Cincinelli is alleged to have asked him. "So what's the problem?"

At another point she allegedly told the boyfriend to tell the hit man to “run her the [expletive] over, how about that."

On Friday morning around 10 a.m., Suffolk County police arrived at Cincinelli's home to notify her that her estranged husband had been murdered -- but it was all part of an FBI-orchestrated ruse.

"Then, almost immediately after the Detective left the home, Cincinelli began to discuss...her alibi -- specifically what she would tell the police if she were to be questioned about the death," prosecutors wrote in a detention memo filed on Friday.

Then, at 10:48 a.m., according to court records, an FBI agent posing as the hit man texted a picture of the husband, appearing to be dead in his car, to the boyfriend. Along with the picture, the agent texted a demand for another $3,000 in order to carry the murder of the boyfriend’s minor daughter, identified in court papers as “Jane Doe.”

"In response, Cincinelli instructed the [confidential informant] to delete the text messages and photographs, citing her fear that law enforcement could subpoena the phone," prosecutors wrote.

The identity of the boyfriend was not disclosed in court papers, and it remains unclear how he first came into contact with the NYPD.

The target of the alleged attack -- Isaiah Carvalho Jr., according to his attorney Matt Weiss -- only learned of the purported plot on Friday.

"He found out today, just like everybody else," Weiss told ABC News.

Weiss said that his client is grateful to law enforcement officials and that "all things considered, he sounds OK."

Carvalho Jr. sued her for divorce in Nassau County, according to court records cited by the New York Post, and a trial was set to begin next month.

Weiss issued a statement late on Friday saying his client is "still in shock."

"At the outset, Mr. Carvalho would like to thank law enforcement for all of their diligent efforts," Weiss said in the statement. "Mr. Carvalho is still in shock and is attempting to process the events, which have transpired over the past 24 hours. At this time, Mr. Carvalho and his family would appreciate the press honoring their privacy."

It was not immediately clear whether Cincinelli had retained a defense attorney. She was represented in court on Friday by a federal public defender, who could not immediately be reached. The New York Police Benevolent Association, which represents New York police officers, did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Cincinelli's father told ABC News that his daughter was being set up by the boyfriend, whom he declined to identify.

In a telephone interview as he drove north from his home in Virginia to New York City to try and assist his incarcerated daughter, Louis Cincinelli said the boyfriend had once accused her of pulling a gun on him and threatening his life, only to allegedly recant that accusation in criminal court in New York

"I don't know what happened but I do know my daughter and i knew this was not true when I first heard it. She was going out with some wacko pathological liar who had her locked up once before, saying that she pulled a gun on him and threatened to kill him, but then he went to court and said in open court, he recanted it and said he had made it up. Now ... she throws this bum out again and two weeks later this happens."

"But she's the biggest idiot for being with him," he continued. "I don't know. I don't understand these kids. But I know my daughter. She wouldn't do this. She's a domestic violence officer, and she knows that that's not the way to handle something like this, to knock somebody off."

Cincinelli worked as a domestic violence officer in the 106th Precinct in Queens, according to the NYPD, but had been working on the modified duty since 2017 in a unit that monitors video surveillance cameras at city housing projects.

"I guarantee you," the distraught father continued, "the bottom line is going to be that it turns out she didn't do this."

The FBI and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau brought the case against Cincinelli.

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iStock(CANAAN, N.H.) -- On a Thursday in March, when a New Hampshire high school student wanted lunch but had forgotten to bring money to school, a lunch lady named Bonnie Kimball told him not to worry about it. He could bring the money the next day.

“I just told him, ‘Have your mom send in some money tomorrow,’” Kimball told ABC News, adding that she “had no doubt he would pay for his meal the next day.”

And, sure enough, the next day “he brought the money in at 7:30 in the morning ... and paid his account in full,” Kimball said.

But it didn't end there.

Later that day, the district manager of Fresh Picks, the food services company that employed Kimball, informed her that she had committed "theft" and was out of a job.

Now, Fresh Picks appears to be offering Kimball her job back -- but it's not clear that she wants it.

As Kimball spoke to ABC News, the school district’s superintendent Amanda Isabelle released a statement saying that after she had spoken with Fresh Picks and the company had agreed to reinstate Kimball with back-pay.

"The events of these past few weeks and the feedback I have received from parents has given me considerable pause," Isabelle said in the statement. "As a school district, we understand the importance of rules and procedures, but upon reflection, I have become sufficiently convinced that it is wrong of us to assume that all the responsibility falls to the vendor, and I do not believe our communities would accept that explanation of this situation. We must be accountable for the people who work in our schools."

It was not clear that the company had reached out to Kimball directly with a job offer.

“I’m not bailing them out, I’m not gonna do it,” Kimball told ABC affiliate WMUR-TV.

While she has kind words for her experience at the Canaan, New Hampshire, high school, Kimball was less enthusiastic about Fresh Picks.

The school should bring on another vendor -- one “that will treat the children better,” she said.

“They’ll never have another kitchen crew like we were. We made those lunches with love. We weren’t just lunch ladies,” she told ABC News. “We went above and beyond our job and made sure the kids got what they wanted and how they liked it.”

In fact, Kimball has said that two other employees in the Mascoma lunchroom quit to protest her termination.

A termination letter provided to ABC News by Kimball said that she was fired for violating cash handling procedures and school and federal policies.

“On March 28, a District Manager was on-site and witnessed a student coming through the line with multiple food items that you did not charge him for,” the letter said. “This in strict violation of our Cash Handling Procedures, the Schools Charge Policy and Federal Regulation governing free meals. Your final pay will be processed and disbursed to you.”

But the district manager was standing right next to her when she gave the student the free lunch, Kimball said, and called the way her termination was handled “unprofessional.”

Kimball, who worked for Fresh Picks for four-and-a-half years, spoke about how much she misses her students.

“I miss all the kids,” she said. “I still stay in touch with a lot of them. I stop by the school and I go to sports events, but it’s not the same as being with them every day.”

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A major severe weather outbreak got underway on Friday across parts of the Plains with 31 reported tornadoes in four states (Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas). The majority of these tornadoes came from western Kansas and Nebraska -- creating some incredible images of large funnels in the western prairies.

The severe weather threat will expand eastward through the rest of the Plains Saturday and into parts of the Midwest and Northeast on Sunday. The next concern is a major severe weather risk targeting the Southern Plains on Monday.

Typically, the second half of May into early June can be quite violent for severe weather in the central U.S.

There is a new tornado watch Saturday morning for parts of Texas and Oklahoma, including San Angelo, Abilene and Wichita Falls. This tornado watch will go expire at 10 a.m. Central time. Storms in this region are likely to become severe, with a couple of tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail all possible.

Action will continue throughout the day, expanding east and north as moisture begins to interact with a strong system moving through the Central Plains. Numerous severe storms will fire up from Texas to southern Minnesota on Saturday, with the entire region will be at risk for tornadoes, destructive winds and large hail.

There is an enhanced risk across northeast Texas and into parts of Louisiana and Arkansas, including the metro areas of Dallas, Shreveport, Louisiana; and Little Rock, Arkansas. In the enhanced risk region there is a chance for strong tornadoes and destructive winds. It is important to note that destructive, straight-line winds can still be extremely dangerous and cause major damage.

On Sunday, this system will move into parts of the Midwest, and storms will begin to crop up from Illinois to western New Jersey.

Thunderstorms will move into the Midwest on Sunday afternoon and evening.

There is a slight risk for severe weather in this region, including Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit and Cleveland. Damaging winds and large hail will be the primary threats. While the tornado risk should remain limited, brief tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

All of this severe weather activity is a prelude to a dramatic ramping up on Monday when the next impulse comes off the Rocky Mountains into the Southern Plains. A major severe weather event will likely occur on Monday -- and the severe weather will likely last into the middle of the week.

There is a moderate risk and enhanced risk for severe weather in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas on Monday. This includes some areas that are well known for particularly violent weather in late May, including Oklahoma City and Woodward, Oklahoma and Wichita and Wichita Falls, Kansas.

Unfortunately it appears all the ingredients will come together on Monday for strong tornadoes, perhaps violent and on a long track, in the region. These type of severe weather events usually unfold in the late afternoon and evening hours.

Additionally, the severe weather this weekend and the next round of severe weather coming Monday and lasting into the middle of next week will have the potential to drop torrential rain through much of the central U.S.

Locally, over 6 inches of rain is coming to parts of the central U.S. over the next few weeks, which could cause flash flooding. Many spots across parts of the region -- including the Upper Midwest -- have very saturated ground from a snowy winter, and heavy rains already this spring. Therefore, flash flooding and river flooding will become a significant concern through the coming week.

Also, robust, supercell thunderstorms can drop torrential rain, obscure tornadoes and cause major life-threatening flooding. There is a potential for activity like this in parts of the Plains over the coming days.

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iStock(PORTLAND, Maine) -- A teacher in Maine has filed a lawsuit against her former school district, saying she was terminated over taking breaks to pump breast milk and breastfeed her newborn child.

Shana Swenson, of Portland, was let go by Falmouth Elementary School at the end of the 2017-2018 school year and she says it was part of a year-long campaign to remove her after she returned from maternity leave and took three breaks per day to pump breast milk.

Falmouth Public Schools denied the claim, with an attorney for the school telling the Bangor Daily News Swenson's allegations are "false."

"Falmouth works hard to support employees who are parents by, among other things, providing mothers with paid time to breast feed and express breast milk during the school day, extended parental leave when needed, and an on-site day care for employees so that they are able to be near their children and participate in their care during the working day," lawyer Melissa Hewey told the Bangor Daily News.

Swenson began working for the school district in 2015 as a Response to Intervention teacher for grades 3 to 5, assisting kids who were struggling in classes.

She taught through the 2016-2017 school year until leaving to give birth to her son in February 2017, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court last week. She was on maternity leave through August, but returned to school for the 2017-2018 academic year.

She spoke to the school's principal, Gloria Noyes, and said she planned to pump or nurse during "scheduled and approved breaks." Swenson said during the day she took three breaks, approximately every two to three hours, and they lasted about 20 minutes each.

"Shortly after distributing the aforesaid group schedule to her team, Plaintiff was approached by Ms. Noyes and asked if she could reduce the amount of times she needed to express breast milk throughout the work day from three times per day to two times per day and for her to take said breaks during her lunch and planning time (rather than at the times her body required it)," according to the lawsuit.

It was at this point she alleges Noyes began to slowly force her out.

The lawsuit also states that Swenson became the target of "extreme animosity and hostility" by coworkers over her decision to take breaks to pump. She offered to try to be "flexible" with the breaks, but said she was legally allowed to take the breaks in accordance with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Maine Human Rights Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, according to the lawsuit.

The criticism from colleagues caused her to "break down emotionally" and undergo "stress-related physical symptoms," the lawsuit states.

Swenson brought her concerns to Noyes once and the criticism did not stop, she said, before again sitting down with Noyes in October 2017. Noyes promised to conduct an investigation, but she never spoke to Swenson about the allegations and her coworkers said Swenson's "performance and communication were allegedly lacking," according to the suit.

The teacher had received only positive performance reviews up until this point in her career, but she was then put on an "Action Plan" to improve her behavior.

"Following the November 3, 2017 performance review meeting, Ms. Noyes' and other management began to create a paper trail on Plaintiff as a way to expedite her imminent termination," the lawsuit reads.

By the following April, she was told that her contract was not being recommended for renewal and on May 11 officially received a letter from her union representative saying she would not be brought back in the fall.

Noyes did, however, provide a positive letter of recommendation for Swenson after being terminated, the lawsuit says.

Swenson is requesting payment for lost wages and court fees in a jury trial. The school district said it plans to fight the case in court.

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iStock/Graffizone(NEW YORK) -- A New York Police Department officer allegedly paid her boyfriend $7,000 to help her hire a hit man to murder her ex-husband and his young daughter, according to court records.

But the boyfriend turned out to be cooperating with authorities, and following a dramatic law enforcement hoax in which the cop was shown a picture on Friday morning of her ex-husband appearing to be dead in his car, she allegedly began discussing her alibi with the boyfriend in case she was questioned, according to court records.

The boyfriend was wearing a recording device, according to authorities, and captured the entire conversation on tape.

That's when agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the NYPD moved in and arrested her.

Officer Valerie Cincinelli, 34, of Oceanside in Nassau County on Long Island, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and held without bail following a hearing late Friday afternoon.

Cincinelli, who has been on the job since 2007, worked out of the NYPD's 106th Precinct in Queens. However, she has been on modified assignment since 2017 because of prior domestic incidents involving the boyfriend and the ex-husband, the sources said.

Cincinelli first approached the boyfriend about having her ex-husband murdered in February, and continued discussions with him in person and on the phone, according to court records.

The boyfriend told her he knew someone who would commit the murder for $7,000, which he would convert into gold coins to pay off the hit man. Cincinelli allegedly withdrew the $7,000 in cash from a Long Island bank in February, court records show. The murders were supposed to take place last weekend, officials said in court records.

The ex-husband was to be murdered near his office on Long Island, and Cincinelli and the boyfriend allegedly discussed how the killing "would not look suspicious because the murder would take place in 'the hood' or 'the ghetto,'" according to court records.

At one point, according to court records, Cincinelli seemed to become anxious about why the child had not yet been killed. After the boyfriend allegedly informed her that the hit man had located the child in New Jersey, Cincinelli allegedly asked him "why wasn't it done," to which he is said to have replied that the hit man would not commit the murder near the child's school.

"OK, so she leaves school, you said he knows exactly where she lives, right?" Cincinelli is alleged to have asked him. "So what's the problem?"

At another point she allegedly told the boyfriend to tell the hit man “run her the [expletive] over, how about that."

On Friday morning around 10 a.m., police arrived at Cincinelli's home to notify her that her ex-husband had been murdered -- but it was all part of an FBI ruse.

"Then, almost immediately after the Detective left the home, Cincinelli began to discuss...her alibi -- specifically what she would tell the police if she were to be questioned about the death," prosecutors wrote in a detention memo filed on Friday.

Then, at 10:48 a.m, according to court records, an FBI agent posing as the hit man texted a picture of the ex-husband, appearing to be dead in his car, to the boyfriend. Along with the picture, the agent texted a demand for another $3,000 in order to carry the murder of the boyfriend’s minor daughter, identified in court papers as “Jane Doe.”

"In response, Cincinelli instructed the [confidential informant] to delete the text messages and photographs, citing her fear that law enforcement could subpoena the phone," prosecutors wrote.

The identity of the boyfriend was not disclosed in court papers, and it remains unclear how he first came into contact with the NYPD as an informant.

The target of the alleged attack -- Isaiah Carvalho Jr., according to his attorney Matt Weiss -- only learned of the purported plot on Friday.

"He found out today, just like everybody else," Weiss told ABC News.

Weiss said that his client is grateful to law enforcement officials and that "all things considered, he sounds OK."

Carvalho Jr. sued her for divorce in Nassau County, according to court records cited by the New York Post, and a trial was set to begin next month.

Weiss issued a statement late on Friday saying his client is "still in shock."

"At the outset, Mr. Carvalho would like to thank law enforcement for all of their diligent efforts," Weiss said in the statement. "Mr. Carvalho is still in shock and is attempting to process the events, which have transpired over the past 24 hours. At this time, Mr. Carvalho and his family would appreciate the press honoring their privacy."

It was not immediately clear whether Cincinelli had retained a defense attorney. She was represented by an attorney from Nassau County's Legal Aid Society, but attempts to reach the attorney were not immediately successful. The New York Police Benevolent Association, which represents NYPD officers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Cincinelli's father told ABC News that his daughter was being set up by the boyfriend, whom he declined to identify.

In a telephone interview as he drove north from Virginia to New York City to try and assist his incarcerated daughter, Louis Cincinelli said the boyfriend had once accused her of pulling a gun on him and threatening his life, only to allegedly recant that accusation in criminal court in New York

"I don't know what happened but I do know my daughter and i knew this was not true when I first heard it. She was going out with some wacko pathological liar who had her locked up once before, saying that she pulled a gun on him and threatened to kill him, but then he went to court and said in open court, he recanted it and said he had made it up. Now, a year later, she throws this bum out again and two weeks later this happens."

"But she's the biggest idiot for being with him," he continued. "I don't know. I don't understand these kids. But I know my daughter. She wouldn't do this. She's a domestic violence officer, and she knows that that's not the way to handle something like this, to knock somebody off."

According to the NYPD, Cincinelli had been on modified duty since 2017 and was working in a unit that monitored video surveillance cameras at city housing projects.

"I guarantee you," the distraught father continued, "the bottom line is going to be that it turns out she didn't do this."

The FBI and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau brought the case against Cincinelli.

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iStock/Pattanaphong Khuankaew(CHICAGO) -- Grim new details have emerged about the murder of a pregnant teenager whose baby was cut from her womb, as prosecutors described how the teen was lured by a Facebook ad for free baby clothes and her accused killer claimed the baby as her own.

"Words really cannot express how disgusting and thoroughly disturbing these allegations are," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a news conference.

Grim new details have emerged about the murder of a pregnant teenager whose baby was cut from her womb, as prosecutors described how the teen was lured by a Facebook ad for free baby clothes and her accused killer claimed the baby as her own.

"Words really cannot express how disgusting and thoroughly disturbing these allegations are," Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said at a news conference.

Prosecutors in Chicago have charged Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter Desiree Figueroa, 24, with the murder. At the news conference, they detailed what they say happened in excruciating detail.

They allege that Clarisa Figueroa posted an offer of free baby clothes on a Facebook page called "Help a Mother Out," which they described as a group that offers access to baby items for "families in need," and that Ochoa-Lopez responded to the post and arranged to meet Figueroa at her Chicago-area home.

Desiree Figueroa is alleged to have distracted Ochoa-Lopez with a photo album of Clarisa Figueroa's dead adult son so that Clarisa Figueroa could strangle the teen with a cable.

At one point, Ochoa-Lopez was able to slip her fingers between her neck and the cable, keeping herself from being strangled, and, according to Murphy, this prompted the elder Figueroa to yell at her daughter, "you're not doing your f------ job!"

"Defendant Desiree then stepped up and began to peel the victim's fingers from the cable one by one," Assistant State's Attorney James Murphy told reporters.

Clarisa and Desiree Figueroa have been charged with murder, while Clarisa Figueroa's 40-year-old boyfriend Piotr Bobak has been charged with helping to cover up the alleged crime. All three appeared in Cook County Court Friday and were denied release on bail.

Julie Contreras, the spokeswoman for Ochoa-Lopez's family, said that the family is asking for "justice for Marlen."

"Today is a sad day. Today is a day of anguish that this family is living through. A nightmare, a horror film," Contreras told reporters at court.

Murphy said that following Ochoa-Lopez's murder, Clarisa Figueroa brought the baby to a nearby hospital, where it was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. Clarisa Figueroa then allegedly formed a GoFundMe page in an effort to raise money for the baby, who she was passing off as her own.

Bobak shared a link to the fundraiser on his Facebook page, Murphy said.

When police arrived at Figueroa's house on May 14 to execute a search warrant, police reportedly saw Bobak cleaning a rug with bleach.

Police later found Ochoa-Lopez's body in a trash can on the property. Investigators believe the murder took place on April 23.

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