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Heart doctor for former President H.W. Bush killed in bicycle drive-by shooting

Heart doctor for former President H.W. Bush killed in bicycle drive-by shooting

A cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was shot and killed Friday in a bicycle drive-by shooting near Texas Medical Center in Houston. >> Read more trending news  Police said Dr. Mark Hausknecht, 65, was riding his bicycle near Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women just before 9 a.m. on Friday when he was shot by another bicyclist going in the other direction, Houston Police tweeted. The man fired two shots at Hausknecht before taking off on his bike, police said. Hausknecht was on his way to work at the time, KTRK reported. A witness flagged down a private ambulance driving by the scene. Emergency crews rushed him to a nearby hospital, where he later died. Investigators do not know if the shooting was random or targeted, or possibly the result of road rage. Jim McGrath, spokesperson for former President H.W. Bush, 94, issued a statement on Twitter. “Mark was a fantastic cardiologist and a good man,” President Bush said in the statement. “I will always be grateful for his exceptional, compassionate care. His family is in our prayers.” The suspect in the shooting is still at large, CNN reports. He is described as a 30-year-old white or Hispanic man, wearing a tan baseball cap, grey jacket, khaki shorts and riding a light-colored mountain bicycle. 

9 members of one family among 17 killed in duck boat accident on lake in Branson, Missouri 

9 members of one family among 17 killed in duck boat accident on lake in Branson, Missouri 

A duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, killed 17 people Thursday night, including the boat’s driver and nine members of an Indiana family, according to authorities. Fourteen other people were injured. >> Read more trending news  Update 8:45 a.m. EDT July 21: The Stone County coroner confirmed to KSDK that William Asher, 69, and his girlfriend, Rose Hamann, were among those killed in Thursday night's duck boat accident in Missouri. The news station reported that the couple lived in St. Louis County, Missouri. They were visiting Branson to celebrate Hamann’s birthday, which was on Monday, according KSDK. Todd Dennison’s mother, 64-year-old Leslie Dennison, was also killed in the boat accident, the Kansas City Star reported. In an emotional and brief interview Friday, Todd Dennison told the newspaper that his mother was visiting Branson with his 12-year-old daughter, Alicia, and that they were together for less than an hour before they boarded the duck boat. He told the Star that while in the hospital on Thursday night, his daughter told him that she could feel her grandmother pushing her upward from below while the boat was sinking.“She said her grandmother saved her,” Todd Dennison told the Star. Update 1:30 a.m. EDT July 21: Authorities have identified more victims in the duck boat accident. Steve Smith and his teenage son, Lance Smith, from Osceola, Arkansas, were among those killed in the crash. Steve Smith was a pastor and Lance Smith was preparing to open his own church in less than a week, according to CNN, first reported by The Christian Chronicle.  Steve Smith’s daughter, Loren Smith, suffered a concussion during the accident but survived. Smith’s wife, Pam Smith, opted to stay behind and was not on the boat. William and Janice Bright from Higginsville, Missouri, near Kansas City, were also identified as victims in the crash. WDAF reports that the couple had three children, 16 grandchildren and had been married for 45 years. “My great nieces and nephews now have no grandparents,” Karen Abbott, William Bright’s sister, told WDAF. Update 11:00 p.m. EDT July 20: A summer vacation ended in tragedy for nine members of an Indiana family, along with eight other tourists, killed when a duck boat capsized Thursday evening on a lake in Branson, Missouri. The Coleman family had traveled to Branson for their annual road trip, according to The New York Times, which interviewed Carolyn Coleman. Coleman said she lost two of her brothers-in-law and that three generations of the family died in the accident, including four young children, the Times reported. “We just lost some wonderful people,” she said. The Indianapolis Star reported that the four children killed in the accident were all under the age of 10. 'They were very loved,' Ingrid Coleman Douglas said in a telephone interview with the Star. Coleman Douglas said the victims included two of her uncles, cousins and their children. 'It’s a huge family on all sides. It’s unimaginable. I would never have thought I would have lost this number of people this way,' she said. Coleman Douglas identified the victims as her uncles Horace 'Butch' Coleman and Irving Raymond Coleman; Horace Coleman's wife, Belinda Coleman; her cousins, Angela Coleman and Glenn Coleman; Angela's 2-year-old son Maxwell; Glenn's two sons Evan and Reece; and his 1-year-old daughter, Arya. Glenn's wife, Tia Coleman, and Angela's older son, whose name has not been released, survived the accident, the Star reported. Update 5:15 p.m. EDT July 20: Stone County authorities now say all 17 of the victims in the duck boat accident have been accounted for and that nine of the victims were from the same family, according to Gov. Mike Parson’s office. Two members of the family, identified by local news outlets as the Coleman family, survived. Officials said the victims range in age from 1 to 70 years old. Meantime, mourners are putting flowers on the victims’ cars in the Ride the Ducks parking lot, and the community of Branson, Missouri, is holding several candlelight vigils Friday night in memory of those killed.  One of the vigils is scheduled at Table Rock Lake where the accident happened, according to KY3-TV. Update 4:30 p.m. EDT July 20: Family and friends are mourning the staggering loss of life on Table Rock Lake Thursday evening. One woman lost nine members of her family, USA Today reported, citing Gov. Mike Parson’s office. Update 2:20 p.m. EDT July 20: Branson Mayor Karen Best told The Associated Press that Bob Williams, the man who was driving the Ride the Ducks boat that sunk Thursday in a southwest Missouri lake, was a “great ambassador for Branson” who “was at every event.” Seventeen people died, including Williams, and 14 others were injured Thursday when the duck boat capsized in Table Rock Lake, according to authorities. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said earlier Friday that the boat’s captain survived. In a statement posted on Facebook, employees of Ride the Ducks Branson said the business would be closed “while we support the investigation, and to allow time to grieve for the families and the community.” “This incident has deeply affected all of us. Words cannot convey how profoundly our hearts are breaking,” the statement said. “Thank you for your support, and we ask that your thoughts and prayers be with the families during this time.” Update 11:40 a.m. EDT July 20: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said Friday morning that authorities recovered four more bodies after a duck boat capsized in southwest Missouri, KSMU reported, bringing the death toll from Thursday’s incident to 17. Rader said 14 people were taken to hospitals after the incident. He said the driver of the Ride the Ducks boat died. The captain survived. Update 11:20 a.m. EDT July 20: Nearly two decades ago, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a warning about boats with overhead canopies like the one that sank Thursday on Table Rock Lake after a deadly accident claimed 13 lives in Arkansas, according to the Kansas City Star. The Miss Majestic duck boat was carrying 21 passengers when it sank in 1999 in Lake Hamilton, the Star reported. Authorities found seven dead passengers trapped inside the boat when they recovered it, four of which were pinned to the underside of the canopy, according to the Star. “Contributing to the high loss of life was a continuous canopy roof that entrapped passengers within the sinking vehicle,” NTSB officials said in an accident report. Authorities continued searching Friday for four people who are presumed dead after Thursday’s accident in southwest Missouri. Officials said 13 other people have been confirmed dead in the incident. Update 10:25 a.m. EDT July 20: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said divers are going back in the water Friday in search of four people who remain missing and are presumed dead after Thursday’s duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake. Rader said the search had shifted to “recovery mode for the bodies that are still missing,” at a news conference Friday morning. 'It's been a long night,” Rader said. “It's been a very trying night.” Rader said the driver of the Ride the Ducks boat died but that the captain survived. Update 10:05 a.m. EDT July 20: Authorities are expected to provide an update on the investigation into Thursday's deadly duck boat accident in Missouri at a news conference Friday. Update 9:55 a.m. EDT July 20: President Donald Trump shared sympathies Friday to the families and friends of the people involved in Thursday’s deadly duck boat accident in southwest Missouri. “Such a tragedy, such a great loss,” the president wrote Friday in a tweet. “May God be with you all!” Update 8:15 a.m. EDT July 20: Officials with the State Highway Patrol said Friday that two more bodies have been found after Thursday’s duck boat accident in southwest Missouri, bringing the death toll to 13.  >> On AJC.com: Bahamas boating tragedy brings vacation safety to the forefront State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace said four other people remained missing. Original report: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said 14 people were taken to hospitals after the incident. Seven were being treated early Friday, he said. The boat capsized after a strong line of thunderstorms moved through the area around 7 p.m. Thursday. Rader said weather “was a factor” in the incident. Authorities said the boat had 31 people on board, including children, when it capsized.  The boat had life jackets on board, according to CNN. The news network reported that other boats on the water docked before the bad weather hit. The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to investigate and are asking anyone who witnessed the accident to come forward. A dive team and rescue officials worked through the night to find survivors. They ended the search around 11 p.m., according to KY3. Emergency responders set up a staging area overnight on the lakeshore near the Showboat Branson Belle, local media reported, although the Belle was not involved in the accident. Branson officials opened an emergency shelter inside city hall for the victims. National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Linderberg said a top wind speed of 63 mph was measured around 7 p.m. Thursday at Branson Airport.  “There’s nothing to slow down winds in an open area,” he said. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is watching the developments. DUKW, known as duck boats, are six-wheel-drive amphibious vehicles that were used by the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War.  Since then, duck boat tours have become popular and are offered on lakes and rivers around the United States, including Missouri, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Alabama. Ripley Entertainment acquired the Ride The Ducks in Branson in late 2017 from Ride the Ducks International, a subsidiary of Norcross, Georgia-based Herschend Family Entertainment Corp. Ride the Ducks International manufactures amphibious vehicles and licenses them for tours at affiliates. It also operates duck tours at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia. The company formerly operated tours in several other cities, including Baltimore, San Francisco and Philadelphia. But in recent years it ended operations following deadly accidents.  In 2015, a Ride the Ducks tour bus collided with a charter bus carrying student on the Aurora bridge in Seattle. Five students were killed and several others injured. The Associated Press and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.

Deadly duck tour boat crashes date back nearly two decades

Deadly duck tour boat crashes date back nearly two decades

As families and friends mourn the deaths of 17 people killed on a tourist duck boat in Branson, Missouri, the National Transportation Safety Board is beginning its investigation into what caused the crash. >>Related: 9 members of one family among 17 killed in duck boat accident on lake in Branson, Missouri  The tragedy at Table Rock Lake wasn’t the first time a duck amphibious vehicle had been involved in a deadly crash. Since 1999, 40 people have been killed in deadly crashes involving amphibious tour buses, according to The Associated Press. >> Read more trending news  1999: Arkansas “Miss Majestic” sank May 1, 1999 near Hot Springs, Arkansas in Lake Hamilton.  The boat was only seven minutes into its tour when it sunk by the stern and went to the bottom of the lake, according to the Associated Press.  Thirteen people were killed. The boat had to be hoisted out of the lake by a crane. The NTSB report found that roofs or canopies on the duck boats put passengers in danger, because passengers could become trapped underneath them -- especially if they were wearing life jackets, because of their natural buoyancy. The cause of the accident was determined to be inadequate maintenance of the vehicle, built by the U.S. Army in 1944. 2003: Boston Rosemary Hamelburg, 63, fell backward off a duck boat into a parking lot while taking a photo. She died four days later. Her family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Her family and lawyers said the duck boat operation failed to follow its own safety policies on board the Boston Duck Tours Boat. The company settled with Hamelburg’s estate for $425,000. 2010: Philadelphia  A collision between a duck boat and a stalled tugboat on the Delaware River in Philadelphia caused the duck boat to sink. Two students from Hungary were killed and over 25 people hurt, WPVI reports. The NTSB determined that the tugboat operator was distracted by talking to family members on his cellphone and laptop.  The duck boat was also found at fault -- investigators found the boat had maintenance issues and faulted the captain for anchoring in an active boat channel. 2015: Philadelphia  Elizabeth Karnicki, 68, of Beaumont, Texas, was hit and killed as she crossed a busy Philadelphia street at rush hour in May 2015. Her husband argued duck boats have large blind spots and drivers cannot see pedestrians.  According to the Kansas City Star, he sued the company but eventually settled. 2015: Seattle Five college students were killed and 69 others hurt after a duck boat collided with a charter bus on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge in September 2015. The NTSB determined that an axle on the duck boat broke, causing the driver to lose control and slam into the charter bus, carrying a group of international students. NTSB investigators determined that Ride the Ducks International, the duck boat parent company, violated law by not telling regulators about a safety defect on the duck boat’s axle and failing to recall the vehicle. The company agreed to pay all penalties.  2016: Boston Allison Warmuth, 28, was hit and killed by a duck boat while riding a motor scooter in downtown Boston in 2016, NBC reports. NTSB investigators found that the duck boat driver took his eyes off the road to point out landmarks along the tour before the accident. This prompted the Massachusetts legislature to pass a new law prohibiting drivers from serving as a tour guide and driver.   The duck boats were also required to add new safety equipment, including blind spot cameras. The  Associated Press contributed to this article

White House figures show Trump on pace to equal Obama deficits

Despite clear signs of expanded economic growth, the latest White House budget estimates predict that President Donald Trump is on the verge of overseeing an expansion of federal deficits which will rival that of President Barack Obama’s two terms in office, as the Trump Administration now forecasts a deficit next year that will be over $1 trillion, with no signs of a balanced budget on the horizon.

The latest figures issued by the Office of Management and Budget now predict a deficit this year of $890 billion – and deficits of over $1 trillion per year in 2019, [More]