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Ebola Nurse Kaci Hickox Can Swap Quarantine for Blood Test, Gov. Tells ABC News

ABC News(FORT KENT, Maine) — Maine's governor indicated Thursday that he would abandon his demand that nurse Kaci Hickox remain under quarantine after treating Ebola patients if she would agree to take a blood test for the lethal virus.

Gov. Paul LePage made his comment to ABC News Thursday as Hickox defiantly challenged demands that she remain quarantined by leaving her home in the morning for a bike ride with her boyfriend.

LePage indicated to ABC News that he was willing to abandon his demands that the nurse remain quarantined if she would take a blood test for Ebola.

While Hickox was pedaling, attorneys for the state of Maine went to Superior Court seeking a judge’s permission to give Hickox a blood test for Ebola, LePage said.

“This could be resolved today,” the governor said. “She has been exposed and she’s not cooperative, so force her to take a test. It’s so simple.”

Medical experts have said that an Ebola test would only be positive if someone were symptomatic, and could register a negative result if the amount of Ebola virus in the blood hadn’t reached a detectable level.

The governor said he has a state police car stationed outside Hickox's home and that she has the town "scared to death."

Hickox, 33, went on the bike ride in Fort Kent, Maine, after vowing last night she wasn't willing to "stand here and have my civil rights violated."

While Hickox was pedaling, attorneys for the state of Maine went to Superior Court seeking a judge’s permission to give Hickox a blood test for Ebola, Maine Gov. Paul LePage told ABC News.

“This could be resolved today,” LePage said. “She has been exposed and she’s not cooperative, so force her to take a test. It’s so simple.”

Medical experts have said that an Ebola test would only be positive if someone were symptomatic.

The governor said he has a state police car stationed outside Hickox's home and that she has the town "scared to death."

The nurse, who had been treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone for Doctors Without Borders, said she was fighting for her rights as well as other health care workers who will be returning from the Ebola hot zone in West Africa. She said that Doctors Without Border told her another 20 health care workers will be coming home in the next month.

"Most aid workers who come home just want to see their family and have a sort of normal life," she told reporters Wednesday night. "I'm fighting for something other than myself. There are aid workers coming back every day."

Hickox said she isn't committed to a quarantine that isn't "scientifically valid," she told reporters standing alongside her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, outside her home Wednesday night. The quarantine demand goes beyond guidelines put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which indicate that she can't spread Ebola if she isn't sick, doesn't have symptoms and no one is in close contact with her bodily fluids.

"You could hug me, you could shake my hand [and] I would not give you Ebola," she said.

Hickox returned to the United States on Oct. 24, landing in Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, where she was questioned and quarantined in an outdoor tent through the weekend despite having no symptoms of the lethal virus.

Hickox registered a fever on an infrared thermometer at the airport, but an oral thermometer at University Hospital in Newark showed that she had no fever, she said.

After twice testing negative for the Ebola, Hickox was released and returned home to Maine on Oct. 27. Maine's health commissioner announced that Maine would join the handful of states going beyond federal guidelines and asking that returning Ebola health workers be self-quarantined for 21 days.

But Hickox vowed to break the quarantine because it wasn't based on science.

"I will go to court to attain my freedom," Hickox told Good Morning America Wednesday via Skype from her hometown of Fort Kent. "I have been completely asymptomatic since I've been here. I feel absolutely great."

The CDC doesn't consider health workers who treated Ebola patients in West Africa to be at "high risk" for catching Ebola if they were wearing protective gear, according to new guidelines announced this week. Since they have "some risk," the CDC recommends that they undergo monitoring -- tracking symptoms and body temperature twice a day -- avoid public transportation and take other precautions. But the CDC doesn't require home quarantines for these workers.

Someone isn't contagious until Ebola symptoms appear, according to the CDC. And even then, transmission requires contact with bodily fluids such as blood and vomit.

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San Francisco Giants Fans Celebrate World Series Title with Couch Fires

Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — Big crowds hit the streets of San Francisco late Wednesday to celebrate the Giants' third World Series title in five years.

People burned couches and other debris in the city's Mission District after the Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in the decisive Game 7.

Two people were shot in the Mission, police told ABC News station KGO-TV.


SF won the #worldseries. This guy is swinging on live wire on a bus. lol

A video posted by Tony Bell (@tb_tonybell) on Oct 10, 2014 at 10:29pm PDT


Police haven't said how many arrests were made.


I'm covered in beer #GoGiants #madbum

A video posted by Jeff Dean (@most_jeffinitely_) on Oct 10, 2014 at 8:49pm PDT

A victory parade is scheduled for Friday.

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Man Survives Driving Off Cliff, 17 Hours Trapped Underneath Vehicle

iStock/Thinkstock(BOONE, N.C.) — A man in North Carolina survived 17 hours pinned underneath his vehicle after he fell asleep behind the wheel and drove off a cliff, authorities said.

Joseph Woodring's vehicle fell at least 60 feet when he went off the road in Boone, N.C., on Tuesday night, according to State Highway Patrol.

The crash launched Woodring, 21, from his vehicle, which landed upside down and pinned him underneath it. He was found Wednesday afternoon.

"He was lying on his side. Both legs were pinned under," Dale Watson told ABC News affiliate WSOC-TV. "He wanted some water so I give him some water."

Watson said Woodring told him he fell asleep while driving. It took rescue crews an hour to raise the vehicle off him.

Woodring was taken to the hospital with two broken legs, according to the State Highway Patrol.

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Man Says He Wrongly Confessed to Murder After Undergoing 'Exorcism'

iStock/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — A man claims he was under a sort of exorcism when he confessed to killing a fellow member of a religious group in Kansas City, Missouri, whose death was originally ruled a suicide.

The body of Bethany Deaton was found Oct. 30, 2012, in the back seat of her minivan with the doors locked and a note inside.

"My name is Bethany Deaton. I chose this evil thing," the note read, according to court documents. "I did it because I wouldn't be a real person and what is the point of living if it is too late for that? I wish I had chosen differently a long time ago. I knew it all and refused to listen. Maybe Jesus will still save me."

Deaton, 27, was a member of a religious group called the International House of Prayer, which was led by her husband, Tyler Deaton. A few weeks after her death, Micah Moore, another member of the group, confessed to her slaying.

Tyler Deaton had a cult-like following within the group and controlled virtually every aspect of some members' lives, according to court documents.

When Moore confessed, he told police Deaton ordered him to kill his wife to stop her from telling anyone about sexual assaults against her in the house, according to police records. The three lived in a communal house with other male members of the group.

"This is a horrible, horrible crime," Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said. "A young woman lost her life. She lost her life in a very violent way and today, we do know what happened to her."

Now Moore claims he only confessed to killing Deaton because he was under the influence of what some have called an exorcism. Moore, who is scheduled for trial next month, has pleaded not guilty.

"They were the statements of a distraught and confused young man," his attorney, Melanie Morgan, said.

The medical examiner has also changed the manner of Deaton's death to undetermined.

"We are aware of no evidence that a crime has occurred," Morgan said.

The International House of Prayer denied any affiliation with Deaton's group in a statement to ABC News.

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NASA Completes Initial Assessment of Virginia Launch Site Following Rocket Explosion

Image Credit: NASA/Terry Zaperach(WALLOPS, Va.) -- NASA said on Wednesday that the Wallops Incident Response Team completed its initial assessment after Orbital Science Corporation's Antares rocket exploded seconds after liftoff on Tuesday.

"I want to praise the launch team, range safety, all of our emergency responders and those who provided mutual aid and support on a highly-professional response that ensured the safety of our most important resource -- our people," Wallops Director Bill Wrobel said. The initial assessment is just a "cursory look," the NASA press release notes, though it found numerous broken windows and imploded doors at buildings in the immediate area.

The most severe damage was found at a sounding rocket launcher adjacent to the launchpad and buildings nearest the pad, and there was damage to the transporter erector launcher and lightning supression rods at Pad 0A.

Soil, air and water samples will be taken from the incident area to ensure that the environment is safe. No hazardous substances were detected in initial sampling.

Also on Wednesday, Orbital said in a statement that the "major elements of the launch complex infrastructure...avoided serious damage."

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Five Cases in Ferguson, Mo., In Which Darren Wilson Was 'Indispensable Witness' Dismissed

AndreyPopov/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Saint Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced on Wednesday that five felony cases in Ferguson in which Officer Darren Wilson -- the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, 18, in August -- was an indispensable witness for the prosecution will be dismissed.

The announcement was made in a press release, which noted Wilson is a witness in "approximately ten of the nearly 4200 pending felony cases in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County." The five cases in which he is an indispensable witness will be dismissed, while the remaining will proceed without Wilson as a witness.

"Neither the cases being dismissed nor the prosecution of those remaining will in any manner effect the investigation or the presentation of the evidence to the Grand Jury in the shooting death of Michael Brown," McCulloch said in the press release.

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Steady Stream of Lava Visible From Space

Photo by Andrew Hara/Getty Images(PAHOA, Hawaii) -- Lava has rolled nearly 300 feet closer towards a main road on the Big Island of Hawaii and there is no indication that it is going to stop.

The spread of the lava and the smoke coming off the volcanic liquid can be seen from space, and NASA released images showing its destructive path.

The lava is oozing forward at about 10 yards per hour near Pahoa Village Road and is headed in a northeastern direction. The flow is now 240 yards from the road, officials said.

Residents in the down slope of the lava flow path have been given an evacuation advisory and those with respiratory issues have been warned to stay indoors.

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Eric Frein Manhunt Hopes Deflated by Balloon's Failure

Pennsylvania Dept of Transportation(CANADENSIS, Pa.) -- A giant helium balloon sent to Pennsylvania to aid in the manhunt for accused cop killer Eric Frein was returned after just one day, police said.

The unmanned balloon came from Ohio and was supposed to be quieter than a helicopter and provide similar technology to aviation equipment being used in the search, but at a lower cost, police said. But it was returned just a day later, police said on Wednesday.

"Due to the tree canopy and rugged terrain of our search area the balloon was not as helpful as everyone hoped it would be," said Trooper Tom Kelly, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Police.

The balloon was the latest tactic police employed in the ongoing search for Frein, accused of killing one state trooper and injuring another when he allegedly ambushed the Blooming Grove police barracks on Sept. 12.

Police believe he's been hiding in the woods for nearly seven weeks.

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Vanished Broncos Fan 'Decided to Go for a Walk,' Police Say

Tia Bakke(DENVER) -- A Colorado man who vanished at a Denver Broncos game, then turned up more than 100 miles away five days later, told police he "had his fill of football and decided to go for a walk," according to a police statement.

Paul Kitterman, 53, was "medically sound" when they found him in a K-Mart parking lot Tuesday, the Pueblo, Colorado Police Department said.

"He wanted to walk 'somewhere warmer,'" the Pueblo police statement read. "Kitterman mentioned sleeping in treed areas and in bushes during his journey to Pueblo and even mentioned disposing of his Broncos hat as he did not want to be recognized."

Kitterman's friend Tia Bakke and stepson Jarod Tonneson, who both attended the Thursday game with him, told ABC News that his disappearance remains a mystery to them.

"Right now we are still unsure what happened to Paul. We know he is very tired. We are not certain of what has happened but we know Paul had some sort of breakdown. We are moving forward and taking all of the appropriate steps to help Paul," Bakke and Tonneson said in a statement.

Pueblo police had a department chaplain find him a room once they identified him because he said he was tired and they called relatives to pick him up.

"He was speaking and answering questions intelligibly that were asked of him," the statement read.

Kitterman's relatives earlier thanked the public for its help but did not explain his disappearance.

"The family is happy to report Paul has been found and they are now with him and he is safe," relatives wrote in a statement posted on a Facebook page dedicated to Kitterman's case.

"We know there are many questions that some of you may have but for the time being we are asking that you respect [their] privacy as they have been through a lot," the family statement read. "We love all of you and we will never forget your kindness, compassion, and your willingness to help us find Paul."

Denver Police said Kitterman, a construction worker from Kremmling, Colorado, was found in Pueblo, Colorado, on Tuesday. He was unharmed and "no foul play was suspected," police said, revealing few other details and deferring questions to Kitterman's family.

Kitterman's friend Tia Bakke, who was at the game on Thursday, said that he did not have his cellphone or any credit cards with him at the time he disappeared, bringing only about $50 cash to the game.

Before he was found, Kitterman was last seen at the game on Thursday around halftime when he told his stepson that he was going to meet Bakke and another friend who were sitting in a different section.

Bakke said that he appeared to be in a good mood when while at Sports Authority Stadium, and he said that it was "awesome" to experience his first Broncos game in person.

"He would never bail on his son or anyone, so by Friday night we knew something was really, really, wrong," Bakke told ABC News.

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Rocket Explosion Probers to Begin Sifting Through Debris

NASA(WALLOPS ISLAND, Va.) — Officials will begin investigating Wednesday, trying to figure out what went wrong with a failed rocket launch that resulted in a fireball over Wallops Island, Virginia.

The rocket started going awry six seconds into the flight when “a vehicle anomaly” was detected, Orbital Sciences Corp said. The range safety officer sent a self-destruct command 14 seconds later.

"This shows how difficult and maddening this business really is," Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, said in a news conference.

This launch was the third of eight International Space Station cargo resupply missions under NASA's $1.9 billion contract with Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Virginia. Orbital provides the launch vehicle and cargo spacecraft and NASA runs the range operations.

The rocket and payload were worth $200 million and it's not known how much damage was done to the launch facility, officials said.

The Antares rocket was carrying 4,483 pounds of equipment to the station including 1,360 pounds of food. The rocket held a Cyngus cargo logistics spacecraft that was to have orbited above the Earth and was set to dock with the ISS on Nov. 2. Orbital Sciences had said this was the first use of its upgraded Castor 30XL second stage motor, which enables greater lift capacity.

Officials asked residents of the area to call in any launch debris they find and not to touch any of it.

“It is far too early to know the details of what happened,” Frank Culbertson, Orbital’s general manager of its Advanced Programs Group, said in a statement. “We will conduct a thorough investigation immediately to determine the cause of this failure and what steps can be taken to avoid a repeat of this incident. As soon as we understand the cause we will begin the necessary work to return to flight to support our customers and the nation’s space program.”

Also destroyed in the explosion were experiments being sent to the space station by high school students from schools in Houston, Texas, and Ocean City, New Jersey.

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NASA said the space station crew has sufficient supplies, and a Russian cargo ship blasted off successfully Wednesday morning from Kazakhstan and is headed toward the space station.

The launch was initially supposed to happen Monday, but was delayed after a sailboat entered the hazard zone early in the launch count, NASA reported. The "hazard area" for the launch of the Antares is about 1,400 square miles off the coast of Wallops Island along the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

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Up to 50 Hawaiian Buildings at Risk as Lava Flow Advances

ABC News (PAHOA, Hawaii) — A lava flow has reached properties in a small Hawaiian town, burning at least one building, with 40 to 50 homes and businesses at risk, officials said.

Thick clouds of smoke blanketed Pahoa on the Big Island as the river of molten lava seeped toward front doors.

Residents such as Sarah Williams focused on packing, trying to save anything they could.

“We've had so much to do that we've really just stayed focused on what we've had to do,” she said. “Luckily, it's slow. But that's also the downside, is it's painfully slow in a way.”

The lava has left fiery destruction in its wake, swallowing structures and other materials in a ball of flames. Utility poles are being insulated and surrounded by dirt, with authorities hopeful that the lava will go around the utility poles.

Since Kilauea’s current eruption began in 1983, unstoppable lava flows have added 500 new acres to the island and destroyed at least 181 homes, a visitor center, a church and a community center, according the National Park Service.

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Nurse Kaci Hickox 'Will Go to Court' over Maine Ebola Quarantine Rule

ABC News(FORT KENT, Maine) — Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was quarantined at a New Jersey hospital despite exhibiting no Ebola symptoms after arriving from West Africa, will take legal action against the state of Maine if officials do not lift the 21-day home quarantine restrictions by Thursday morning.

“I will go to court to attain my freedom,” Hickox told Good Morning America Wednesday via Skype from her home in Fort Kent, Maine. “I have been completely asymptomatic since I’ve been here. I feel absolutely great.”

Hickox, 29, arrived at her home Monday after spending the weekend quarantined in an outdoor isolation tent at University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey.

The Doctors Without Borders nurse was checked by officials at Newark Liberty International Airport Friday after arriving from treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone. Hickox says she believes the temperature that officials said prompted her detainment in the hospital isolation tent was incorrect.

“I believe that the forehead scanner used to take that temperature was completely inaccurate,” Hickox said. “I didn’t take any anti-fever medicines while at the airport and when I arrived in the isolation facility they took my temperature by an oral thermometer and it was completely normal."

“You don’t get rid of a fever without taking something within a couple of hours so I think we need to discuss also the instrumentation that officials are using,” she said.

When Hickox arrived in Maine, the state’s governor ordered her to abide by that state’s policy that health care workers who arrive from West Africa remain under a 21-day home quarantine, with their condition actively monitored.

“I remain really concerned by these mandatory quarantine policies for aid workers,” Hickox said Wednesday. “I think we’re just only adding to the stigmatization that, again, is not based on science or evidence.”

Hickox’s attorney, Steven Hyman, says his client, who last treated an Ebola patient on Oct. 21, does not meet the threshold for quarantine.

“The standard is, does Kaci have an infectious disease or agent? Is she harboring an infection?” Hyman said Wednesday on GMA. “The answer is no. Medically, there is no basis to quarantine Kaci at this point in time.”

Hickox says she does not understand the public’s concern over health care workers arriving back home in the United States.

“I think we really have to stick to the facts and the science and I think we also need to look historically,” Hickox said. “I haven’t seen any science that says this is a huge risk and I have seen science that says self-monitoring works.

“Self-monitoring is a humane, understandable, prudent solution,” she said.

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Extra Chills Coming in Halloween Forecast

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After a very mild start to the week for most of the country, a cold front is bringing some of the coldest weather of the season to the eastern United States just in time for Halloween. And yes, there is a chance of Halloween snow for some.

Two storm systems could affect the country for Halloween. One will be in the Great Lakes and the other will be along the West Coast.

In the Great Lakes, cold air will be spilling in with gusty winds and snow showers, especially from Michigan to West Virginia where some areas could get a few inches of very wet autumn snow. The Northeast will be mostly dry Friday with cooler temperatures mostly in the 50s.

The second storm system will move into the West Coast from San Francisco to Seattle with rain in the lower elevations and snow in the Sierra and Cascade Mountains.

Most of the Plains and the South will be dry. However, it will be turning cooler from Dallas to Atlanta with highs at or below normal. The only areas in the country that will have a true summer-like feel will be in the desert Southwest with Phoenix topping out in the 90s. Orlando, Florida and Miami can expect temperatures in the 80s.

If you have plans this weekend on the East Coast, you should monitor the possibility of development of a coastal storm. Major cities along the I-95 corridor will see rain and wind but further north and inland, rain could turn to snow.

The heaviest accumulations of snow will be away from the coast in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Higher elevations of the White Mountains could get more than a half a foot of snow. Portland, Maine could see a dusting as well.

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Air Force Cadet: I Blew the Whistle on Football Players, Sex Assaults

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As the Air Force Academy football team heads to West Point for the big game against Army this weekend, the new superintendent is going on the offense against allegations the school has a culture of tolerating sexual violence by football players and other cadet athletes.

"We want to acknowledge it, we own it and we want to move on. We want to do better," said Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson in an interview to be broadcast Wednesday night on ABC's World News Tonight with David Muir and Nightline.

Johnson was appointed superintendent after an investigation led to the court-martials of two football players for sexual assault and the dismissals or resignations of 15 other cadets.

The case was first reported by the Colorado Springs Gazette.

"It’s profoundly disappointing, especially at our institution," said Johnson, adding the Air Force does not intend to deny there had been a problem she described as "bad."

The Air Force's rival this weekend, West Point Academy, is playing under its own cloud of scandal, as the school's athletic program has come under fire in recent days for allegedly using the lure of booze and women to recruit high school phenoms.

The Air Force Academy has recruited cadet athletes to produce a video urging others to report any instance of sexual assault or violence, as well as other initiatives it says it has implemented on campus to address the issue and "instill a culture of commitment and climate of respect."

“I feel like now that this has been out in the media, we hold each other better accountable,” said Christian Spears, a member of the Air Force football team.

But even as the Air Force Academy says it is trying to move forward, members of Congress are raising questions about the dismissal of a cadet who worked undercover to expose sexual violence.

”It’s a case of retaliation,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who along with Sen. John Thune, D-S.D., has asked for a new investigation of the Air Force handling of the case.

For nearly a year, Eric Thomas worked as an undercover cadet, secretly feeding information to agents of the Air Force Office of Special Investigation about alleged sexual assaults and other crimes and misconduct by his fellow cadets.

"If I heard it was sexual assault, I would report it," Thomas told ABC News. "The information I’m providing is what every other cadet should provide."

Thomas’ information helped break a code of silence about the sexual assaults and members of the football team, said Brandon Enos, the agent with the Office of Special Investigations who handled Thomas at the time.

“I can confidently say there would have been no convictions at the academy probably to this day without Eric,” Enos told ABC News in his first broadcast interview.

But despite the success of what was called Operation Gridiron, Thomas was branded a problem and dismissed from the Academy for misbehavior.

“I was crucified, I was told how much of a terrible cadet I was,” Thomas said.

Thomas claims that many of the demerits he accumulated were because of his undercover assignment which required him to leave campus without approval and to attend parties with other cadet athletes.

An investigation by the Air Force Inspector General concluded most of the demerits he earned were not connected to his undercover work.

And the then-superintendent Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, said he had no hesitation in kicking Thomas out of the academy.

“He deserved to be disenrolled,” he told ABC News. “You would not want that particular individual to be an officer in our Air Force today.”

Gould said he did not accept that Thomas played an important role in uncovering cases of sexual assault at the Academy.

“I don’t really buy into the fact that he helped bring these cases,” Gould said.

But even the Air Force Inspector General gives Thomas credit for helping to bring the cases in Operation Gridiron.

“His work definitely helped the Office of Special Investigations in their investigation and later on helped obtain a couple of court-martial trials,” said Tim Timmons of the Inspector General’s office.

And the agent who handled Thomas, Brandon Enos, says he was ordered not to come to Thomas’ defense at the hearing where his status was being decided.

“Here’s a man that actually upheld the honor code and he gets hammered and kicked out of the academy,” said Enos. “And the message that sends to everybody is, ‘You don’t talk about sexual assaults.’”

Enos says he also faced retaliation for his efforts in bringing the cases, and was forced out of the Air Force after being given what he calls punishment assignments.

“I was vacuuming floors, taking out trash, just really degrading things,” Enos said.

Thomas approached Protect Our Defenders, a group that traditionally represents service members who have been raped or sexually assaulted, for help with his case. He is now being represented by the organization's Pro Bono Legal Network.

"Special Agent Enos and (then) Cadet Thomas were punished for taking sexual assaults at the Academy seriously and attempting to hold accountable those who perpetrated violence and created a dangerous and hostile environment," said Nancy Parrish, president of Protect Our Defenders. "But after their work led to the first prosecutions of sexual assault at the Academy in over ten years, the Air Force Academy responded by sweeping further cases under the rug."

Sens. Gillibrand and Thune say an independent investigation is required “to get to the bottom of the facts concerning the circumstances” of what happened to Enos and Thomas.

Thomas now works at a nutrition store at Ellsworth Air Force base near his home in South Dakota, still holding onto the dream that he might one day fly jets for the Air Force.

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Why Baltimore Is Hesitant to Open a 100-Year-Old Time Capsule

Mount Vernon Place Conservancy(BALTIMORE) — The 100-year old time capsule discovered at Baltimore's Washington Monument during a restoration project is so old that officials are hesitant to even open it.

It will be moved to nearby Walters Art Museum where conservators will assess its condition and determine when it will be safe to open the box, according to the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy.

The contents may have been exposed to the monument's dampness for a century and may be in poor condition, officials said.

Designed by architect Robert Mills, the nearly 200-year-old monument was the first one to honor the nation’s first president. Work began on the monument in 1815 and ended 1829. Mills designed the larger Washington Monument in the nation’s capital years later.

The sealed copper box was behind a plaque commemorating the monument's centennial on Defender’s Day, Sept. 12, 1915.

The initial discovery was made while project superintendent George Wilk II was investigating how the plaque was attached to the wall, the conservancy said.

The capsule may contain copies of commemorate programs, issues of The Baltimore Sun newspaper and other items, the conservancy said.

"We were hoping that the plaster in the niche might give us clues as to the appearance of the original plaster in the museum room," Lance Humphries, chair of the conservancy’s restoration committee, said in a statement. "Little did we realize that there was an actual time capsule stashed behind the plaque.”

The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy has led a $5.5 million restoration of the monument since January.

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