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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christian Senyk/Released(DETROIT) -- The mother of one of the ten sailors who went missing following a U.S. Navy ship collision near Singapore on Monday said that she and her husband "couldn't be prouder" of their son.

April Brandon, the mother of Kenneth Brandon, spoke to ABC News about her son.

"His father and I couldn't be prouder of our son," Brandon said about her son. "He's a great kid [and] he's a hero."

Brandon told ABC News that officers from the Navy came to her home and told her they are doing everything possible to find Kenneth.

"The Naval officer came over to tell me he's missing," Brandon said. "That's the last update that we have."

The family has a history with the Navy that dates back many years, according to Brandon.

"His father was in the Navy, his stepmother had been in the Navy, my father was in the Navy," Brandon says.

The collision represents the second such incident involving a U.S. ship in Asian waters in two months. Back in June, seven sailors died when the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship off the coast of Japan, leading to the death of seven sailors.

Although fatalities have been confirmed in the accident regarding the USS John McCain, it is unclear at this time how many sailors died as a result.

The Navy said they discovered human remains in the search for the missing sailors early Monday morning.

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iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- More than two months after a visiting Chinese scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was allegedly kidnapped, authorities say she is presumed dead but her body has not been found. Her family members, who are from China, are staying in Illinois and have not given up on finding her.

Brendt Christensen, 28, of Champaign, Illinois, was arrested on June 30 and charged with the kidnapping of 26-year-old Yingying Zhang, the FBI said. Authorities claim Christensen lured her into his car in broad daylight on June 9. Surveillance video shows her getting into the passenger seat of a car that day.

Christensen has pleaded not guilty, his attorney, Evan Bruno, told ABC News.

Zhang's boyfriend, Xiaolin Hou, said at a news conference this afternoon that when Zhang's mother learned of her daughter's disappearance, "she fainted immediately."

"A lot of time after that, she could not eat or sleep. She was extremely weak," Hou said. "In these two months, we continue to encourage her that she must hurry to get well."

He added that Zhang's mother has since begun "to try her best on eating and sleeping on time, enduring great pain in her heart."

Zhang's father is also not in good health, Hou said.

"He often feels an unendurable pain in his heart," he said. "During these two months in America, he asked me the same question most every day: why there's still no update about where Ying is."

Hou spoke of the family members' difficulties during their past two months in the U.S., explaining that they are not familiar with the laws, customs and culture and are dealing with a language barrier.

But he emphasized that Zhang means the world to her parents and they do not want to return to China without her.

He also said Zhang would want to be with them, too, explaining that "this may be the last desire we can fulfill for her."

"We will never give up on her," he said. "I have no energy or time to be anxious, frustrated or angry. There's only one thought on my mind. That's to try everything I can to find her."

Zhang's family members wrote a letter to President Trump requesting that he "direct all available federal law enforcement and investigatory resources be used to find our daughter as soon as possible." The letter was read during the family's press conference today.

"As a loving father to your own children, you can understand what we are going through," the letter said. "Yingying meant the world to us."

According to a criminal complaint, during an interview at the FBI's Champaign office, Christensen "admitted to driving around the UI campus when he observed an Asian female with a backpack standing at a corner appearing distressed." Christensen then claimed that he drove up to her and when she said she was late to an appointment, he offered her a ride. He said she got into his car and tried to show him where she needed to go, the complaint said.

According to the complaint, "Christensen claimed that he believed he made a wrong turn, because the female became panicked, at which point Christensen claimed that he let her out of the vehicle in a residential area a few blocks away from where he picked her up."

But on June 29, Christensen allegedly was "captured on audio recording while under law enforcement surveillance explaining how he kidnapped" Zhang. The complaint said Christensen admitted to bringing her back to his apartment and holding her there against her will.

But Bruno, Christensen's lawyer, said: "he is legally presumed innocent." Bruno added that the defense team is "meticulously going through the mountain of evidence we have," explaining that they are "in the early stages of that long process."

"All the lawyers here at this firm who are representing Mr. Christensen, we all appreciate the depth of pain that Ms. Zhang's family is feeling and how difficult this all is for them," Bruno said.

Christensen's trial is set for Sept. 12.

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ABC News(STEUBENVILLE, Ohio) -- The man who officials say ambushed and shot an Ohio judge was the father of a high school football player convicted in the high-profile Steubenville High School rape case.

Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was shot and injured outside the Jefferson County courthouse in Steubenville in eastern Ohio shortly after 8 a.m. Monday, after the suspect, identified as Nathaniel Richmond, ran up to him and started firing, officials said.

Steubenville city manager James Mavromatis said a probation officer returned fire and the sheriff said the judge also pulled out his own gun, firing several rounds.

The judge was listed in stable condition Monday and is expected to survive, officials said.

Bruzzese did not preside over Ma'lik Richmond's case, Jefferson County prosecuting attorney Jane Hanlin said, adding there is no reason to believe there is any connection between Ma'lik Richmond's case and this shooting.

The motive for the shooting is unknown, Hanlin said, adding that there were a number of cases involving the gunman in this judge's courtroom and other courtrooms in the past. "Whether there is a connection between any prior appearances and today’s action, we don’t know the answer to that," she said.

"This individual laid in wait, for our judge, and ... it just hurts. First thing on a Monday morning," Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said emotionally. "You have a judge shot in front of his courthouse, and that affected me... This was ambush and attempted murder on our judge."

Abdalla said a passenger was in the suspect's car before the shooting, and while the passenger is not considered a suspect at this time, the individual is being questioned.

"He didn't get out of the car," Abdalla said. "Supposedly, according to him, he wasn't aware what this guy was going to do."

Hanlin said this individual is in custody and it is not yet clear if he or she would face any criminal charges.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he and his wife "are praying for Judge Bruzzese and his family at this difficult time."

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iStock/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- The family of Payton Leutner, a Wisconsin teenage girl who survived a stabbing -- allegedly at the hands of two other teenage girls who prosecutors say were trying to impress the fictional character "Slender Man" -- said a plea agreement for one of the accused teens "is what is best."

Anissa Weier, 15, one of two teens accused of stabbing Leutner 19 times, pleaded guilty Monday to attempted second-degree intentional homicide, party to a crime, with the use of a dangerous weapon as part of a plea deal.

After the plea deal, Leutner's family said in a statement, "It has been more than three years since our daughter was brutally attacked by two classmates who premeditatedly and meticulously planned their assault in an attempt to kill our daughter. These three years have been very difficult both physically and emotionally for Payton and our family. Paramount in our decision to accept today’s plea agreement is that it provides closure without having to have Payton testify and be forced to relive this horrific incident."

"Though perhaps not to the extent in which we would hope these assailants be punished, we are forced to work within the confines of current law. Ultimately, our decision is what is best for our beautiful and amazingly brave daughter, Payton," the statement added.

Weier and Morgan Geyser were arrested May 31, 2014, after allegedly stabbing then 12-year-old Leutner and leaving her in the woods in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Leutner was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries but survived.

Weier and Geyser were 12 at the time of the alleged crime.

Prosecutors have said that both girls were obsessed with the fictional character "Slender Man," who is often depicted in fan fiction stories online as a horror figure who stalks children.

On Monday, prosecutors recommended up to 10 years in prison for Weier, pending a trial set to begin Sept. 11 that will decide if she is legally responsible for the crime, or if she was mentally ill when she participated in the stabbing. If in next month’s trial a jury decides Weier is not responsible because of mental illness, she will spend three years in a mental hospital.

In Jan. 2017, Weier's parents told “Good Morning America” that their daughter had expressed remorse.

Her mother, Kristi Weier, said that according to police interview tapes of Geyser and her daughter, "they thoroughly believed that 'Slender Man' was real and wanted to prove that he was real."

Her father, Bill Weier, said that if he had the chance to meet Leutner's family face to face, "I would tell them I'm sorry. I would tell them that I'm thankful that Payton survived. And I would tell them that for as much as they are struggling with trying to process this in what happened to their daughter, we are struggling equally trying to process this with what happened not only to their daughter but to our daughter."

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A lockdown on the White House was lifted without incident Tuesday afternoon after a suspicious package drew the attention of law enforcement outside the complex's North Fence.

Members of the press and construction workers performing renovations were moved inside the building while Secret Service and D.C. Metropolitan Police responded to the scene.

President Donald Trump was aboard Air Force One, traveling to Arizona for a scheduled campaign rally.

Additional details were not immediately available.

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iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Authorities in the Kansas City, Missouri, area have responded to at least 160 water rescues after heavy rains produced deadly flooding, officials said.

Nearly 10 inches of rain fell in the Kansas City metro area overnight, drenching the roads, flooding rivers and stranding residents. By 5:30 a.m. local time the rain began to subside, moving southeast of the city.

At least one person has died because of the flooding, according to authorities. The sheriff's office in Miami County, Kansas, said a 56-year-old man died when his car hydroplaned off the highway into deep rushing water. First responders found his body about 75 yards away from his car.

The Overland Park Fire Department said rescues included two people plucked from the roof of their vehicle and a young woman rescued from a car in a flooded creek.

One video showed seven people on a roof waiting to be rescued. They were brought to safety, police said.

Another woman was rescued from a tree, according to ABC affiliate KMBC-TV.

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Robert Millis / EyeEm(PHILADELPHIA) -- More than 40 people were injured on Tuesday after a high-speed train made contact with an unoccupied parked train outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, according to official with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

The incident happened just after midnight at a transportation terminal in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, located about 30 minutes west of Philadelphia, a SEPTA spokeswoman said.

Forty-two people, including the train’s operator, sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the accident, according to the spokeswoman.

The spokesperson did not say exactly how the trains made contact, but she said the incident involved two trains, including an inbound train on SEPTA’s Norristown High Speed line.

The incident is currently under investigation and police, medics and safety operations staff are all on scene, SEPTA officials said.

In an early morning briefing, Upper Darby Mayor Nicholas Micozzie said victims were taken to area hospitals and that four people suffered serious injuries, according to The Associated Press.

One witness, who said he was on the train at the time of the accident, said the collision occurred just as he stood up to get off the train.

"My face hit the wall, put a big hole in the wall and I went straight down. I blacked out," the witness said in an interview with KYW-CBS on Tuesday.

"There was blood everywhere. The driver was all banged up and there was this one girl bleeding out of her face pretty bad."

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Chicago Police(CHICAGO) -- A Northwestern University professor, as he allegedly stabbed his boyfriend whom prosecutors say he couldn't subdue, yelled for a second man to help him, according to a court document detailing the alleged murder.

Wyndham Lathem, a faculty member at Northwestern until he was fired this month after the alleged crime, and the second suspect, Andrew Warren, spent more than a week on the run together after, police say, they killed Lathem's boyfriend, Trenton Cornell-Duranleau.

Cornell-Duranleau, 26, was found stabbed to death at Lathem's Chicago apartment July 27. Both suspects were taken into custody in California Aug. 4 after a nationwide manhunt.

The suspects have not been arraigned to face a formal charge but the court document cites first-degree murder. Their attorneys say they are innocent.

Police Sunday described the crime scene as "savage and grisly."

Here are some of the details of the crime, according to the court document from the Cook County State's Attorney's Office:

Lathem, who lived in Chicago, and Warren, who lived in England, had allegedly communicated in an internet chatroom "about carrying out their sexual fantasies of killing others and then themselves."

Lathem allegedly paid for Warren to come to the United States for them to kill someone and then each other, and a few days before July 27, Lathem met Warren at Chicago's O'Hare airport. Lathem allegedly rented a room for Warren near his apartment.

On July 26, Lathem allegedly lured the victim to his apartment while texting Warren that they would kill him that night.

After Cornell-Duranleau went to sleep, Lathem texted Warren and told him to come over, and Lathem allegedly gave Warren a cellphone and told him to record the killing.

After Lathem allegedly stabbed his boyfriend repeatedly in the neck and chest, the victim woke up and began to scream and fight back.

Lathem allegedly couldn't control the victim and yelled to Warren to help him.

"Warren walked into the bedroom and placed his hands over the victim’s mouth to stop him from screaming. The victim bit defendant Warren’s hand and flailed his arms in the struggle," the court document said. "To silence the victim and stop him from moving, defendant Warren struck the victim in the head with a heavy metal lamp."

Both suspects stabbed the victim, the document said, alleging that "Warren used so much force on the victim that he broke the blade of one of the knives he used."

The court document said the victim’s last words to Lathem were, "Wyndham, what are you doing?"

While the victim bled to death in the bedroom, the suspects showered and tried to clean up the scene, the document said.

The document said a car was rented in Lathem’s name and that he left an anonymous cash donation of $5,610 at the Howard Brown Health Center in the victim's name.

The court document said after the suspects fled Chicago, Lathem "called the front desk of his apartment building and told front desk security that apartment 1004 should be checked, there had been a crime committed in that room."

Responding authorities found that the victim had been stabbed 70 times and his head was nearly decapitated, the court document said.

While the suspects were on the run, Lathem sent a video message to his parents and to friends, admitting "that he killed the victim and that the murder was not an accident," but saying, "he is not the person people thought he was," according to the court document.

"He admitted that the victim trusted him completely and felt safe with him but that he betrayed that trust," the document said.

The defendants at one point fled to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where Lathem went to the Lake Geneva public library and made a $1,000 cash donation to the library in the victim's name, the document said.

Lathem's attorney, Barry Sheppard, told ABC News today, "We are representing a brilliant scientist who at this point we believe is innocent."

Sheppard said Lathem has not yet entered a plea but plans to plead not guilty.

Sheppard said "we don't accept the facts" presented in the court document, adding, "we are conducting our own independent investigation that will differ substantially from the [court document]."

Sheppard said no arraignment date has been set.

Once in custody, Warren allegedly admitted to helping Lathem in the killing, and when asked whether there were any other potential victims, Warren allegedly said there were but said he did not know if that person showed up at Lathem's apartment the next morning after they fled the crime scene.

Warren allegedly demonstrated for officers how he and Lathem stabbed the victim and Warren said he did not record the killing on the cellphone, the court document said.

Kulmeet Galhotra of the Cook County Public Defender's office, which is representing Warren, told ABC News today that Warren is "presumed innocent. And we have just been appointed, so we're going to begin our investigation of the case."

"I anticipate that in a few weeks there will be an arraignment at which he will be entering a plea of not guilty," he said.

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ABC News.(NEW YORK) -- A historic total solar eclipse arced across the United States from west to east Monday, as millions of people who had gathered in its relatively narrow "path of totality" watched in awe.

The total solar eclipse, which is the first to traverse the continental United States in decades, first made contact over Lincoln City, Oregon. Crowds of people donning special-purpose solar filters cheered and roared as the moon completely blocked the sun and cast a 70-mile wide shadow stretching from Oregon to South Carolina.

For brief moments, the sky over various U.S. cities plunged into darkness and temperatures dropped as much as 12 degrees. The sun's outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by glare, appeared as a ring of ethereal white wisps around the moon while it blocked the solar surface.

In areas with clear skies, bright stars and planets appeared in the darkened daytime sky. And as the sun reemerged from behind the moon, it created an astonishing "diamond ring" effect.

A total solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the sun and Earth, an occurrence that lasts up to three hours from beginning to end. Monday's total solar eclipse is particularly rare because it's the first time in 99 years that the path of totality exclusively crosses the continental United States from coast to coast. It's also the first continent-wide eclipse to be visible only from the United States since 1776.

The last time the contiguous United States saw a total solar eclipse was Feb. 26, 1979, when the path of totality crossed the Pacific Northwest. ABC News' Frank Reynolds anchored a special report on the celestial phenomenon at the time and pledged that the network would cover the next total solar eclipse in 2017.

“So that’s it -- the last solar eclipse to be seen on this continent in this century. And as I said not until Aug. 21, 2017, will another eclipse be visible from North America. That’s 38 years from now. May the shadow of the moon fall on a world in peace. ABC News, of course, will bring you a complete report on that next eclipse 38 years from now,” Reynolds said before signing off.

From 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET to 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET, ABC News' David Muir will lead the network's live coverage of the astronomical event from within the path of totality.

You must be in the path of totality to witness a total solar eclipse. NASA estimates more than 300 million people in the United States could potentially view the total solar eclipse in its entirety.

However, a partial solar eclipse will be visible in every U.S. state. In fact, everyone in North America, as well as parts of South America, Africa and Europe, will see at least a partial eclipse, according to NASA.

The path of totality for Monday's solar eclipse is a 70-mile-wide ribbon that will cross the United States from west to east, sweeping over portions of 14 U.S. states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The moon's shadow started to eclipse the sun over the West Coast just after 9 a.m. PT. From there, it will speed across the country and leave the East Coast just after 4 p.m. ET.

The exact times for partial and total phases of Monday's eclipse vary depending on your location.

With millions of people pouring into the select U.S. cities located within the path of totality, law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospitals there are on high alert.

"It's all hands on deck," Kentucky's Madisonville Police Chief Wade Williams told ABC News. "We're kind of throwing everything at it."

The state of Oregon alone anticipated a million visitors Monday, causing some local hospitals to cancel elective surgeries and call in extra help for the emergency rooms. Some cities even preemptively declared a state of disaster, a move that allows them to call in the National Guard to help direct the large crowds if needed.

"If a police department in a certain area is overwhelmed and they need us to help come and set up traffic control check points, we're ready to do that," Oregon National Guard spokesperson Leslie Reed told ABC News.

More than than 17,000 cars and SUVs were rented for Monday at Oregon's Portland International Airport, a number it normally hits over an entire week.

In northeast Georgia, the mountain town of Blairsville expected to host up to 200 percent more people than the number of residents who live there. The town's hotels were fully booked and camping sites were sold out for Monday.

"There is no reason to panic," Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce tourism director Tobie Chandler told ABC News. "We are not going to run out of gas, we are not going to run out of groceries. We just need to enjoy this event."

The American Red Cross has set up resources along the path of totality to help keep people safe during Monday's rare celestial event.

"One thing is we really encourage folks to have in their cars an emergency go kit and that should include things like water, non-perishable foods, a flashlight with batteries and an envelope with cash," Josh Lockwood, regional CEO for the American Red Cross Greater New York region, told ABC News.

Authorities warned that people might have to look for landlines in some areas to make emergency phone calls, as some small towns may not be able to handle the large number of cellphone calls.

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ABC News(AUSTIN, Texas) -- The University of Texas at Austin is removing four Confederate monuments that it says have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism, the school announced on Sunday.

The university said the monuments -- which honor four figures tied to the Confederacy -- were erected during the period of segregation and “represent the subjugation of African Americans” and therefore should be taken down.

The statues -- which depict confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston, former U.S. Sen. John Reagan and former Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg -- were taken down early Monday morning.

The news comes in the wake of a deadly outbreak of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia -- which began in protest of the planned removal of a monument of Confederate General Robert E. Lee -- that left one dead and 19 injured after a car-ramming attack. Police arrested James Alex Fields, 20, and charged him with second-degree murder in the incident.

“Last week, the horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation,” University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves said in a statement Sunday. “These events make it clear, now more than ever, that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

Fenves said he spoke with faculty, students and alumni, and reviewed a 2015 task force report before making the decision.

The bronze monuments of Lee, Reagan and Johnston will be relocated to the school’s Briscoe Center for American History for scholarly study, Fenves said. The statues of Hogg, governor of Texas from 1891 to 1895, will be considered for re-installation at another campus site, he added.

“The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history,” Fenves said Sunday. “But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university’s core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres.”

"We do not choose our history, but we choose what we honor and celebrate on our campus," he added.

The school removed statues of Jefferson Davis and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson from campus back in 2015 after a deadly mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Other Confederate monuments are being removed around the country under pressure from those who consider them symbols of racism and white supremacy.

Four Confederate-era monuments were removed last week in Baltimore, Maryland, and the governors of Virginia and North Carolina requested the removal of Confederate monuments in their states.

President Donald Trump, however, has pushed back against removing the Confederate symbols, calling it "changing history."

“This week it's Robert E. Lee. I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” Trump said in a press conference last week.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Millions of people in the United States are expected to be within the path of today's total solar eclipse, when the moon moves between the sun and Earth and casts a dark shadow across our planet. But whether or not you see it depends entirely on clear skies.

ABC News meteorologists predict the Pacific Northwest and the Tennessee Valley will have the best weather conditions for viewing the total solar eclipse. There, cloud cover is expected to be less than 25 percent and, in some areas, there will be no clouds at all.


The lunar shadow will reach the West Coast at 9:05 a.m. PT. People in Lincoln City, Oregon, will be the first in the continental United States to view the total phase, which starts there at 10:15 a.m. PT. But the marine layer as well as smoke from nearby wild fires have the potential to obscure the astronomical event for those along Oregon's coast.

"Of course we need clear skies and currently along the coastline we are battling that marine layer as you often do. The other issue in Oregon, smoke from wildfires that have been burning," ABC News senior meteorologist Rob Marciano said on "Good Morning America" while reporting from Lincoln City. "The rest of the Northwest looks to be really nice."


The main areas of concern for cloudy skies is in the central United States and along the Southeast coast. A weather system developing in the middle of the country will impact eclipse visibility in parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. ABC News meteorologists expect at least 60 percent of the sky to be covered with clouds over this region. People in western to northern Missouri, including Kansas City, can expect cloudy skies.

"You get into the central part of the U.S. and we're looking at a developing system that will probably throw some clouds into Nebraska, into Missouri," Marciano said.


ABC News meteorologists also anticipate some clouds as well as possible isolated and brief thunderstorms to develop along the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. It's unlikely that this weather activity won't clear out by early afternoon. But if the system lingers, parts of this region, including Charleston, will have poor viewing conditions for the total solar eclipse.


Here is ABC News' current forecast for locations within or near the path of totality:

  • Lincoln City, Oregon: Patchy morning with fog and clouds, then becoming sunny; temperatures in the 50s.
  • Madras, Oregon: Clear skies; temperatures nearing the low 80s.
  • Ketchum, Idaho: Clear skies; temperatures in the 70s.
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho: Mostly clear skies; temperatures nearing the low 80s.
  • Casper, Wyoming: Just a few clouds and some smoke, but mostly clear skies; temperatures near 80.
  • The Sand Hills, Nebraska: Isolated thunderstorms with possible periods of clear skies; temperatures in the 80s.
  • Beatrice, Nebraska: Partly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms and periods of sunny skies; temperatures in the 80s.
  • St. Joseph, Missouri: Mostly cloudy with isolated thunderstorms; heat index in the 90s.
  • Carbondale, Illinois: Partly cloudy; any storms should hold off until after the eclipse; heat index in the 90s.
  • Kelly, Kentucky: Mostly clear skies; heat index in the 90s.
  • Nashville, Tennessee: Mostly clear skies; heat index in the 90s.
  • Atlanta, Georgia: Mostly sunny; heat index in 90s.
  • Columbia, South Carolina: Isolated thunderstorms with periods of clear skies; heat index in the 90s.
  • Charleston, South Carolina: A chance of showers and thunderstorms with periods of cloudiness; heat index in the 90s.


Beginning Monday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, ABC News' David Muir will lead the network's live coverage of the celestial phenomenon. ABC News has crews spread across the path of totality for the big event.

ABC News' Daniel Manzo contributed to this report.

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Erik Millsap(STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich.) -- A 1-year-old girl thought she spotted her dad in the mall. Instead, it was a statue of Batman.

Melissa Millsap was taking her four kids back-to-school shopping at Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights, Michigan, but she couldn't understand why her 1-year-old daughter Layla kept yelling, "Da da!"

"I was trying to figure out what she was talking about," she told ABC News.

Millsap, 37, eventually discovered that her daughter was referring to the Batman statue, located inside the mall.

"It's funny because she's never seen Batman before. We don't have anything Batman in our house," she continued.

Millsap decided to take a video of her daughter yelling "Da da!" at Batman to send to her husband of 17 years, Erik. He thought it was hilarious.

"I was cracking up because the way she shot it was perfect," Erik Millsap, 39, told ABC News. "I was not expecting to see Batman at the end of the video. I was laughing."

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Tim Vorderstrasse(WASHINGTON) -- A new mother of two decided to take a fresh approach on pregnancy posts by showing the honest and sometimes humorous side of what it's really like to be pregnant.

Exactly two months after the birth of her first daughter, Zoey, Maya Vorderstrasse found out she was pregnant with another baby girl. "I was in absolute shock," Vorderstrasse told ABC News.

But the new mother took it in stride and started posting pictures on Instagram of her new baby bump.

"Up until about halfway through the pregnancy I was still taking pretty pictures, but I would try and insert a relatable caption," she said of her initial idea to flip the switch on her typical mommy-to-be posts. "But then it came to a point where I said, 'I'm way too tired and hurting. I can't pretend it's this amazing feeling all the time.' It's hard, I was achy and I had my other child crawling and I felt [like a] fake portraying something that just wasn't my reality.”

So she decided to instead embrace the reality of it all and post things to which other pregnant women could actually relate.

"I said, 'I'm going to embrace my life right now and see what happens, see how people respond.’"

Vorderstrasse used a plain and simple letter board to post messages about how she was feeling week to week.

"I was paying attention to my symptoms and then took the strongest one and turned it into a board," she explained. "I translated how I was feeling into a message."

Her husband, Tim, who photographed her series of shots, became the brunt of one post at 33 weeks when she got upset because he ate the last cookie out of a package of cookies.

"When my first one went viral and got over 6,000 ‘likes,’ the one where I'm [fake] choking my husband because he took my food, that was the one that made me realize how much people like these and could relate," Vorderstrasse said. "People were messaging me saying, 'Oh, my gosh, that's exactly how I feel. Thank you for being so honest about that.' They feel like it's OK to not have it all together and these other moms felt like they belonged somewhere reading my posts."

Ultimately, the pregnancy shots finished with the Aug. 3 birth of daughter Hazel but she still plans to continue posting pics that are both fun and honest.

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ABC News.(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- Newlyweds Samantha and Cameron Kuhn had an out-of-this-world wedding today during the total solar eclipse. They celebrated with their closest friends and family in the path of totality in St. Joseph, Missouri.

“Being able to do the wedding on the day of the solar eclipse couldn’t be any more perfect,” bride Samantha Kuhn, 28, told ABC News.

After completing their vows, the bride and groom joined their guests, all wearing certified solar eclipse glasses, in a field behind the altar to take in another “rare and wonderful” occasion -- the total solar eclipse.

“I’ll go out and have about 2 minutes and 40 seconds of totality and just take in that moment,” the bride said on “Good Morning America” this morning in anticipation of the ceremony. “It’s going to be amazing.”

The astronomy-loving bride has been obsessed with all things celestial since she was in the third grade, even wanting to become an astronaut.

“Once I realized the planets were out there and we were all suspended in this solar system, I couldn’t wrap my head around it but I loved that. It completely fascinated me,” she told ABC News.

So when her now-husband Cameron Kuhn popped the question, picking the day was a no brainer.

“The coolest part about this, the eclipse is kind of like a time stamp,” the groom said. “It will stand out in everybody’s memories even more.”

The wedding had heavenly touches and an outer space motif including DIY “galaxy globe” centerpieces -- similar to snow globes, but full of glitter instead -- for the reception tables.

While the wedding party waited for the total eclipse to happen, they listened to instrumental music that “kind of sounds space soundtrack-y,” said the bride.

She also sported a magical braid to show off her galaxy-colored hair of blue and fuchsia hues.

And she couldn’t walk down the aisle without her space-themed high heels, also planning ahead with matching lace-up flats to dance the night away at the reception.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- From Oregon to South Carolina, a total solar eclipse on Monday will darken the sky as it arcs across the contiguous United States.

A total solar eclipse is when the moon moves between the sun and Earth, an occurrence that lasts up to three hours from beginning to end. Monday's total solar eclipse is particularly rare because it's the first time in 99 years that the path of totality exclusively crosses the continental United States from coast to coast. It's also the first continent-wide eclipse to be visible only from the United States since 1776.

The last time the contiguous United States saw a total solar eclipse was Feb. 26, 1979, when the path of totality crossed the Pacific Northwest. ABC News' Frank Reynolds anchored a special report on the celestial phenomenon at the time and pledged that the network would cover the next total solar eclipse in 2017.

"So that's it -- the last solar eclipse to be seen on this continent in this century. And as I said not until Aug. 21, 2017, will another eclipse be visible from North America. That's 38 years from now. May the shadow of the moon fall on a world in peace. ABC News, of course, will bring you a complete report on that next eclipse 38 years from now,"  Reynolds said before signing off.

On Monday, starting at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET, ABC News' David Muir will lead the network's live coverage of the astronomical event from within the path of totality.

You must be in the path of totality to witness a total solar eclipse. NASA estimates more than 300 million people in the United States could potentially view the total solar eclipse in its entirety.

However, a partial solar eclipse will be visible in every U.S. state. In fact, everyone in North America, as well as parts of South America, Africa and Europe, will see at least a partial eclipse, according to NASA.

The path of totality for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse is a 70-mile-wide ribbon that will cross the United States from west to east, sweeping over portions of 14 U.S. states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The moon's shadow will start to eclipse the sun over the West Coast just after 9 a.m. PT. From there, the moon's shadow will speed across the country and leave the East Coast just after 4 p.m. ET.

The exact times for partial and total phases of Monday's eclipse vary depending on your location.

With millions of people expected to pour into the select U.S. cities located within the path of totality, law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospitals there are on high alert.

"It's all hands on deck," Kentucky's Madisonville Police Chief Wade Williams told ABC News. "We're kind of throwing everything at it."

The state of Oregon alone is anticipating a million visitors Monday, causing some local hospitals to cancel elective surgeries and call in extra help for the emergency rooms. Some cities even preemptively declared a state of disaster, a move that allows them to call in the National Guard to help direct the large crowds if needed.

"If a police department in a certain area is overwhelmed and they need us to help come and set up traffic control check points, we're ready to do that," Oregon National Guard spokesperson Leslie Reed told ABC News.

More than than 17,000 cars and SUVs have already been rented for Monday at Oregon's Portland International Airport, a number it normally hits over an entire week.

In northeast Georgia, the mountain town of Blairsville is expecting to host up to 200 percent more people than the number of residents who live there. The town's hotels are fully booked and camping sites are sold out.

"There is no reason to panic," Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce tourism director Tobie Chandler told ABC News. "We are not going to run out of gas, we are not going to run out of groceries. We just need to enjoy this event."

The American Red Cross has set up resources along the path of totality to help keep people safe during Monday's rare celestial event.

"One thing is we really encourage folks to have in their cars an emergency go kit and that should include things like water, non-perishable foods, a flashlight with batteries and an envelope with cash," Josh Lockwood, regional CEO for the American Red Cross Greater New York region, told ABC News.

Authorities warned that people might have to look for landlines in some areas to make emergency phone calls, as some small towns may not be able to handle the large number of cellphone calls.

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