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Thursday, September 27, 2018







Post Sources: BBC News, Fox News, NBC News, Washington Post, Youtube

***** Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh hearing: Key takeaways so far

With a seat on the Supreme Court hanging in the balance, Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh are appearing in front of senators to state their case and share their stories. Here are some of the key takeaways so far.

Everyone knew what Christine Blasey Ford was going to say before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday morning. Her formal opening statement was released to the public on Wednesday evening.

Reading what she was going to say and hearing her speak it, in a quiet, sometimes faltering voice, are two very different things, however.

The committee hearing began with statements by Republican chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein, and the exchanging accusations of political obfuscation and procedural misconduct threatened to cover the proceedings in a political fog.

For a taut 20 minutes, however, Ms Ford cut through the fog with searing emotion. She spoke of traumatic memories and decades of shame; of a civic duty to come forward and recent months of hounding media and death threats.

The images of her speaking - the first glimpse the public at large has had of her besides a few grainy photos - will linger well beyond Thursday's hearing or even Brett Kavanaugh's ultimate professional fate.

Once Ms Ford concluded, the fog descended again. Thanks in large part to a disjointed format that featured five-minute segments alternating between veteran sex-crimes prosecutor Rachel Mitchell, a surrogate questioner for the Republicans, and Democratic senators, there was little flow to proceedings.

It was as if viewers were flipping back and forth between a CourtTV criminal cross-examination and a public-access television congressional hearing.

Democrats succeeded in gleaning a few memorable moments from Ms Ford. She said she was 100% certain that Brett - referring to Mr Kavanaugh repeatedly by his first name - was the teenager who assaulted her.

She also, in reply to a question by Vermont Democrat Pat Leahy, recounted how the enduring recollection she has from the incident was Mr Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, laughing as they stumbled down the stairs after the alleged attack.

Ms Mitchell, in her interrogation, pulled at a number of threads in Ms Ford's story.

Who drove her to and from the house on the night of the party?

Why did she tell Senate investigators that she couldn't meet them in Washington because she was afraid of flying if she frequently travelled by air for pleasure?

Did she or did she not share her 2012 therapist records with a reporter from the Washington Post?

That final line of questioning is key, since it's those records that help corroborate that Ms Ford had spoken about the assault well before Mr Kavanaugh became a candidate for the Supreme Court.

The other questions seemed more geared toward undermining Ms Ford's credibility - the kind of strategy useful during depositions or trials to undermine a jury's trust in a witness or, perhaps, force them to crack under the accumulated pressure of the interrogation.

Every five minutes, however, Democrats threw Ms Ford a lifeline.

In the end, however, Ms Mitchell herself seemed slightly exasperated by the format she was working under. When it comes to trying to arrive at the accurate recollection of trauma, she said, "there's no study that shows that this setting, in five-minute increments, is the best way to do that.

As the first half of the hearing drew to a close, the senators began to argue about entering various outside statements into the record, only to be interrupted by one of Ms Ford's lawyers.

"Can we be excused?" he asked.

With the partisan fog thick again, it's a sentiment many Americans may have shared.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018





Post Sources: Fox News, TMZ, Youtube

***** Bill Cosby had pudding in first prison meal: report

Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby reportedly had vanilla pudding as part of his first meal in a state prison after being sentenced three to 10 years on Tuesday.

Cosby, 81, now known as Inmate No. NN7687, will serve his sentence at SCI Phoenix, a new state prison in Schwenksville, Pa.

TMZ reported Cosby was served a chicken patty with gravy, vegetables, mashed potatoes and vanilla pudding for dessert.

Cosby famously appeared in a number of Jello commercials in the 1980s and 1990s, but it was not immediately clear if he was served Jello brand pudding in prison.

The former television superstar, who traded on a squeaky clean, fatherly image, was sentenced after being found guilty of three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault in April in one of the most widely publicized trials in modern history.

The once revered comedian was found guilty of sexual assault in April for drugging Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, in his Philadelphia home in 2004.

Monday, September 24, 2018






Post Sources: ABC News, ESPN, PGA, Youtube

***** How Tiger Woods overcame pain, scandal and age to triumph again

He was bigger than an NFL Sunday, which seems perfectly apropos. In his prime, Tiger Woods was bigger than everything and everyone. Why not win a head-to-head with America's modern pastime in his return to the winner's circle as an aging, balding man?

Whether you were in Lincoln Financial Field to watch the return of Carson Wentz, or in any other stadium where outsized athletes in helmets and pads took turns pancaking each other, you had to keep one eye on the nearest TV, the other on your phone. Why? Woods was doing far more in Atlanta than finishing off his 80th PGA Tour victory, that's why.

He was becoming Eldrick Tont Woods again, Tiger to you and me and the rest of creation. He was becoming the best of the best one more time, protecting a 54-hole lead of at least 3 shots for the 24th time in 24 tries. He was returning as Mozart and Michelangelo in a red shirt and spikes, all the way back from the golfing dead.

The scene on the 72nd hole was stunning, as a huge parade of fans at East Lake marched up the fairway behind Woods, nearly inspiring him to cry. The crowd around the green chanted "U-S-A ... U-S-A" for a golfer who never thought he had a prayer of being part of this year's Ryder Cup team. Then Woods hit his bunker shot onto the green that sealed the deal. He tapped in his second putt, raised his arms to the sky, and hugged Rory McIlroy and then his own caddie, Joe LaCava, as the fans started chanting his name.

We never thought we would see the artist return to the peak of his powers, and for good reason: Tiger never thought he would see the artist return to the peak of his powers, either. But in July he held the lead at The Open with eight holes to play, and in August he quieted his old, achy bones in ice baths at the PGA Championship and beat all the younger, fresher stars who grew up idolizing him -- well, all except Brooks Koepka.

And now in September, NFL season, the 42-year-old Woods wasn't going to let Rory McIlroy or Justin Rose or anyone else deny him his Tour Championship triumph. All those back surgeries and an everyday life of searing pain had made the vision of Tiger holding another trophy seem almost unfathomable.

"Oh God," Woods had said at the PGA Championship, "I didn't even know if I was going to play golf again."

He played golf in Atlanta like he played it in his dynastic prime. The better news? Woods nailed down No. 80 as a different human being, as a kinder and gentler update on the programmed assassin he used to be. Tiger has mellowed some with age, offering the head nods and eye contact he rarely bothered with during his scorched-earth prime. Back in the day, the legend Tiger has spent his life chasing Jack Nicklaus, altering his act, too, after growing tired of playing the villain while his neighborly rival, Palmer, basked in the gallery's love.

Woods? He didn't change because the fans had fallen hard for someone else. He changed because parenthood always changes young dads and moms, and because his staggering physical and personal breakdowns inspired him to reassess his tee-to-green purpose. Many of Tiger's wounds were self inflicted, and a fan is entitled to feel about the man the way he or she sees fit. But no matter how you judge his character, Woods is indisputably one of the finest athletes this country has ever produced. And what he has pulled off in the early stages of recovery from what he called "some really dark, dark times" ranks among the greatest sports comebacks ever.

Do you remember the last time Tiger won any tournament? Do you? It was only five years ago, yet it feels like 15. Woods dominated the field at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone, claiming his eighth title at Firestone and his fifth victory of 2013 before almost immediately wondering aloud how often he'd won at least five times on tour in a single season.

Tiger Woods shoots a 71 in the final round of the Tour Championship to win by two strokes for his first win in five years.

"Eight or nine?" he asked.

Ten, he was told.

"That's even better," he said. "That's something I'm very proud of, is how many tournaments I've been able to win consistently, year in and year out."

Tiger's sheer volume of victories made people forget just how hard it is to win just once on the PGA Tour. Golf might be the world's most maddening game -- just ask any recreational player dumbfounded by his or her standard two-way miss -- and yet Woods regularly reduced it to a springtime walk in the park. He conquered a game thought to be unconquerable, and flattened dozens of opponents he wasn't allowed by the sport's bylaws to blitz, tackle or defend in any way.

For the very first time, a golfer was arguably the world's most recognizable athlete. He bargained for himself an entirely new and unwanted level of global fame and infamy over Thanksgiving 2009, of course, when he drove his Escalade into a fire hydrant and a tree in the dead of night and ended up in the street unconscious and bleeding, his then-wife Elin standing over him with a golf club in hand. Woods' serial infidelity was about to be exposed, and so were his vulnerabilities as a man and an athlete.

Woods ultimately lost his marriage. After checking into a treatment center for sexual addiction, he returned to the sport a far less intimidating force. He would win eight more times on tour over the 2012 and 2013 seasons, but he couldn't recapture the major championship aura he lost at the PGA in 2009, when he finally stumbled on a Sunday (he had been 14-0 in majors when holding at least a share of the 54-hole lead) and fell to a self-taught South Korean journeyman named Y.E. Yang.

Asked in 2015 why his vanquished foe had lost the eye of the Tiger in the majors, Yang told, "I, amongst many other players, believe that it has to do with his personal issues and that it is none of our business. Tiger is not a machine and is a person like all of us. I think once he gets his focus back, he will be fine."

As it turned out, Tiger's body was more fragile than his focus. One back injury after another left him bedridden at times, and at others unable to perform the basic physical functions of your average middle-aged dad. "I couldn't even go out for dinner," Woods said. "I couldn't sit. I couldn't get from Point A to B in the house."

Woods couldn't chip because of the pain he felt running down his leg when he bent over, causing his hands to shake. The cortisone shots and the epidurals didn't give him relief. He couldn't play pickup golf with his friends, and he couldn't even play backyard ball with his kids.

"Coming back and playing golf was never in my thoughts," Woods would tell ESPN in March. "It was just, 'How do I get away from this pain? How can I live life again?' That was driving my life. I felt like I couldn't participate in my own life."

Woods said the pain and sleeplessness caused him to over-medicate himself and led to his late-night DUI arrest near his Jupiter, Florida, home on Memorial Day in 2017, when he was found asleep at the wheel of his damaged car with the engine running. The mortifying roadside video of Woods' interaction with police suggested the golfer was literally and figuratively lost, and maybe for keeps. The toxicology report would show that Tiger had Vicodin, Dilaudid, Xanax, Ambien and THC -- the active ingredient in marijuana -- in his system at the time the cops arrested him. Woods would seek professional help, he said, to "manage my medications and the ways that I deal with back pain and a sleep disorder."

Woods could have killed himself, or someone else, after he started his car that night. He seemed almost irretrievably broken, and a million miles removed from the epic champion he used to be.

But the in-patient treatment that followed his arrest -- along with his Hail Mary of a fourth back surgery, the spinal fusion surgery -- ultimately changed his entire life. He arrived at the Masters in April calling himself a "walking miracle." His smile was back, and so was his astonishing swing speed.

Woods decided he wanted to win for daughter Sam and son Charlie; he had joked of his children seeing him almost exclusively as a "YouTube golfer." Sam and Charlie were forever asking him, "Daddy, when are you going to win the tournament?" and for good reason. Sam hadn't seen her old man win a major since she attended the U.S. Open in 2008, when Tiger beat Rocco Mediate in a 19-hole playoff on one leg. Charlie had seen his old man win only once, as a 4-year-old, when he attended the WGC-Bridgestone in 2013.

And then 1,876 days later, Sam and Charlie's dad finally ended the biblical drought. By clinching victory No. 80, two shy of Sam Snead's record, Woods made Atlanta in September feel like Augusta in April.

The world has changed so much since Tiger won on tour for the first time, at age 20, in the fall of 1996, but its fascination with the golfer who is equal parts artist and assassin has remained very much intact. The game has never seen a force quite like him, and chances are it never will again.

Maybe this is the last time Tiger Woods will hold the winner's trophy high, maybe not. Either way, the man in red outplayed the NFL on Sunday and, of greater consequence, delivered a vintage Tiger triumph as a new and improved man.

Sunday, September 23, 2018






Post Sources: AP, Fox News, NBC News, Youtube

****** Guatemalan Man living illegally in USA gets 16 years for crash that killed Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and an Uber driver

A man from Guatemala living illegally in the U.S. was sentenced Friday to the maximum of 16 years in prison for a drunken-driving crash that killed Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and his Uber driver.

Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, pleaded guilty in July to two counts of operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .15 or more, causing death. The sentence marked the maximum possible under his plea agreement.

Investigators said Orrego-Savala had a blood-alcohol content of 0.19 — nearly 2 ½ times Indiana's legal limit — when his F-150 truck crashed into Jackson and his Uber driver, Jeffrey Monroe, 54, on Feb. 4 along Interstate 70 in Indianapolis.

Monroe, of Avon, Indiana, had pulled over when the 26-year-old Jackson became ill. Both men were standing outside Monroe's car on the highway's shoulder when Orrego-Savala's truck crashed into them.

Authorities said Orrego-Savala was walking away from the crash when a state trooper detained him. Under his plea agreement, prosecutors dropped two counts of failing to remain at the scene of an accident.

A Marion County judge sentenced Orrego-Savala after hearing an emotional testimony from Monroe’s widow, Deborah Monroe, and Jackson's mother. The widow told Orrego-Savala that the crashed killed “the greatest love of my life” and destroyed their retirement plans that included travel and fulfilling her husband’s dream of going to the Great Wall of China.

"My family and I are serving a life sentence because of you," she said, speaking directly to Orrego-Savala, who kept his head lowered during much of Friday's hearing.

"You're a drunk, a liar, a murderer and a coward," Monroe said.

Jackson grew up in Atlanta and started eight games for the Colts during the 2016 season, finishing third on the team with 61 tackles. Jackson was considered a possible starter at inside linebacker for 2017 but missed the season after suffering a training camp injury.

His mother, Mary Ellen Powell Jackson, told the court she was preparing to leave Sunday services when she learned that he had died in a crash in a phone call.

Our hearts have been ripped apart and we're always asking, 'Why Edwin?'" she said, recalling him as a hardworking, handsome athlete, and a good, obedient and caring son who had "a heart of gold."

Orrego-Savala was deported in 2007 and 2009. Federal authorities said he illegally re-entered the U.S. and faces federal immigration charges that could potentially result in a 10-year sentence, said Jeremy Johnson, a Marion County deputy prosecutor.

“I’m grateful he was an illegal immigrant because our federal government will give him 10 more years. So that’s 26 years he’ll spend in prison for what he did,” Monroe said according to FOX 59.

Saturday, September 22, 2018



Post Sources: Youtube

Oh Lord, Our Lord How excellent Is your name

Your name is strength
Your name is power

A strong tower Makes me say Oh-ooh Nobody like you Lord
Nobody like you Lord

Say… Oh-ooh Nobody like you Lord
Nobody like you Lord

Oh Lord Our Lord How excellent Is your name

Your name is strength
Your name is power

A strong tower Makes me say (And we're crying) Oh-ooh Nobody like you Lord

Nobody like you Lord (Everybody say)
Oh-ooh Nobody like you Lord
Nobody like you Lord (Say)

Oh-ooh Nobody like you Lord
Nobody like you Lord (Cry out)
Oh-ooh Nobody like you Lord
Nobody like you Lord

You're amazing God And none can compare

(Say) Nobody like you Lord
Nobody like you Lord

And when I consider your heavens And the works of your hands

(Say) Nobody like you Lord
Nobody like you Lord

At your name Every demon must flee

It's strong enough to fight for me

Nobody like you Lord
Nobody like you Lord

Thou Oh lord Are a shield for me

You're my glory
You're my glory

Nobody like you Lord
Nobody like you Lord (Say)

Oh-ooh You are my glory Lord You are my glory Lord (Repeat)

(Say) Oh-ooh Nobody like you Lord
Nobody like you Lord

None can compare to you You're amazing

You're awesome

You're faithful

You're great

Monday, September 17, 2018






Post Sources: CBS News, CNN, NCDOJ, WRAL, Youtube

***** There have been more than 500 reports of price gouging in North Carolina after Florence

When North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence, the state's price gouging law went into effect.

The law mandates that businesses in the state aren't allowed to spike prices during any natural disaster for necessary items like food, water and hotel rooms.

But so far, the North Carolina Attorney General's office has received more than 500 complaints.
Residents have complained of exorbitant markups on such items as gas and water, Attorney General Josh Stein Stein said Sunday.

Stein said his office is also getting reports of hotels over-charging evacuees.
The price gouging law will be in place until Governor Roy Cooper lifts the state of emergency.
Stein also warned storm victims to be vigilant when repairing their homes after the storm and look out for price gouging and scams.

Businesses that charge too much may have to refund customers and pay up to $5,000 for every violation.

To report, potential price gouging in North Carolina, call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint at


Release date: 9/10/2018

(RALEIGH) The price gouging law that protects consumers from scammers is now in effect in North Carolina after Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for the state as Hurricane Florence moves toward the coast. Attorney General Josh Stein notified businesses and consumers today to be on the lookout for any issues.

“My office is here to protect North Carolinians from scams and frauds,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “That is true all the time – but especially during severe weather. It is against the law to charge an excessive price during a state of emergency. If you see a business taking advantage of this storm, either before or after it hits, please let my office know so we can hold them accountable.”

North Carolina has a strong statute against price gouging – charging too much during a time of crisis – that is tied directly to a declaration of a state of emergency. When Governor Cooper declared a state of emergency for North Carolina on Friday, September 7, the statute went into effect for the entire state and will remain so until the state of emergency is lifted.

Attorney General Stein and the North Carolina Department of Justice will be reviewing complaints from consumers closely over the next several weeks and are prepared to take action against any businesses engaging in price gouging activities. Please report potential price gouging by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint at

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484




Post Sources: Charlotte Observer, NBC News, The State, Youtube

**** Florence’s toll: Infant killed by tree, 1-year-old swept away, killed by floodwaters

This story was updated at 10:45 a.m. Monday.

Rescue workers in Union County on Monday found the body of a 1-year-old boy who was swept away in floodwaters on Sunday, adding to Tropical Storm Florence’s death toll.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office said shortly after 10 a.m. that the boy’s body had been recovered. Investigators said his mother drove around barricades on a flooded section of N.C. 218.

Kaiden Lee-Welch’s mother was driving east towards Wadesboro, investigators said, when her car was floated off the road by waters from nearby Richardson Creek.

“Her vehicle left the roadway and came to rest amongst a group of trees,” the Union County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “She managed to free herself and Kaiden, who was in a car seat, but lost her grip on him in the rushing water.”

On Monday, a Union County Sheriff’s deputy guarding the barricade on NC-218 said he’s been here since 1992 and has never seen the water so high.

Two rescue workers were seen coming out of a flooded soybean field near the road, carrying what appeared to be a container covered with a white blanket shortly after 10:30 am as a helicopter hovered overhead.

Elsewhere in Union County, deputies also recovered a man’s body in Marshville on Monday morning.

Observer news partner WBTV reported he was found beside a car after floodwaters receded on Landsford Drive.

In Dallas, N.C., an infant boy was the first person reported killed by the storm in the Charlotte area.

Kade Gill died Sunday after a large pine tree fell on his mobile home Sunday afternoon, Gaston County police confirmed. Sunday was also the day he turned three months old, reported Observer news partner WBTV.

The Charlotte region was starting to dry out Monday and clean up after Florence’s soaking, which delivered 11 inches or more to parts of the city and sent creeks and streams overflowing their banks.

Monday morning, 12,385 customers in Charlotte remained without power, Duke Energy reported, along with almost 4,000 in surrounding counties. City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County offices remained closed.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools were canceled for the third straight day, leaving 148,000 students and the children who attend daycares linked to the CMS calendar home again.

In Dallas, police said a three-month-old boy was at home with family members on Moses Court, off Old Willis School Road, around 12:45 p.m. Sunday when the tree fell.

“It basically just cut the trailer in half,” Gaston County Police Capt. Jon Leatherwood said.

The boy was pronounced dead at Carolinas Medical Center Sunday afternoon, Leatherwood said.

The Gaston Gazette identified his parents as Olen and Tammy Gill, and said the boy was in his mother’s arms on the couch when the tree crashed through the home and struck him in the head. Tammy Gill was hospitalized at CaroMont Regional Medical Center and released Sunday, the newspaper reported.

Kade Gill was alive and crying when his parents pulled him from the home, reported the Observer’s news partner WBTV.

“The tree had divided us,” Kade’s father, Olen Gill, told WBTV. “So I am in the kitchen. She (Kade’s mother) is in the living room on the couch. I had to come out and rip the air conditioner out of the window, and that’s when we handed him through the window.”

Including this case, Hurricane Florence has killed at least 17 people in the Carolinas. Eleven of those fatalities were in North Carolina.

Partial levee breach

A flash flood warning had been issued for southwestern Rowan County until 11:45 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

It also said that at 8:44 p.m., “Rowan County Emergency Management is reporting a partial breach of the Lake Corriher levee in Landis.”

But it appeared Monday morning that the remainder of the levee would hold.

“Due to the decrease in heavy rainfall, water levels have receded from the dam and levee,” Rowan County Emergency Management said in a statement. They planned to continue monitoring the situation. Landis is about 30 miles northeast of Charlotte.

Rising creeks

Meanwhile, creeks rose all over the Charlotte area Sunday afternoon. The southern part of Mecklenburg County and its neighbors to the southeast faced particular trouble.

Rain gauges there measured massive rainfall over the past three days: 10.9 inches at Matthews Elementary School, 11 inches nearby on U.S. 74, 10.2 inches at McAlpine and Sardis roads.

At 1:30 p.m., after much of the metro area had been pelted since early morning with gusting winds and sheets of rain, the National Weather Service issued a rare emergency flood warning for south Charlotte, Pineville, Matthews and Mint Hill. There, the drainage basins of some of Mecklenburg County’s best-known creeks began spilling over into roadways, bridges and neighborhoods.

The emergency warning was quickly extended to Union and York counties.

The weather service told residents in the quickly expanding emergency flash-flood area that they faced an “extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation,” and the agency urged people not to travel unless they were evacuating.

“SEEK HIGHER GROUND NOW!” the weather service said in an unusually urgent Sunday afternoon statement.

In Union, afternoon flooding had already closed roads and bridges and set off home rescues, authorities said. At 4:15 p.m., the county Emergency Management Service announced a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew due to worsening conditions.

By 4 p.m., several creeks had risen above flood stage, the National Weather Service said. The Weather Service said McAlpine Creek would flood homes around Colony Road and Weirton Place and Little Sugar Creek was likely to flood homes near Archdale Drive.

Buildings near Addison Drive in southeast Charlotte were already taking on water from McMullen Creek, the National Weather Service said, and buildings along N.C. 51 in Pineville are at risk of flooding.

“At least 20 roads have been closed due to floodwaters in the southern part of (Mecklenburg) county. Travel is dangerous,” the National Weather Service said.

The threat of similar flooding is expected to cross the state line later today and move south into the fast-growing York County cities of Fort Mill, Rock Hill and Tega Cay, the weather service said.

Meanwhile, flooding along the Catawba River could come as early as Monday, Duke Energy says.

Doug Outlaw, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Greenville-Spartanburg, said bands of rain from the remains of Florence moving across South Carolina set off widespread flooding throughout Chesterfield County, S.C., then crossed the state line into Union County. There, rising creeks fed by rainfall and runoff crested bridges and roads, and forced home evacuations, he said.

In south Mecklenburg, rain also brought the water levels in Briar Creek, McMullen Creek and Little Sugar Creek to near flood stage, leading the weather service to issue the rare emergency flood warning, Outlaw said.

Across the region, Duke Energy says water could begin spilling out of several of its lakes above and below Charlotte starting as early as Monday evening, utility spokeswoman Kim Crawford told the Observer on Sunday.

The most immediate flooding threats are to areas along lakes James, Rhodhiss and Lookout Shoals, Crawford said, where the reservoirs are expected to be several feet above full pond by Monday evening, Crawford said.

Duke is also monitoring Mountain Island Lake, a major source of the region’s drinking water. But Crawford said Duke’s fears of flooding there have eased for now due to tapering rainfall in that part of the county.

Elsewhere, as the rainfall and runoff move southward, and are passed dam to dam around Charlotte, the flood threat moves into Duke’s reservoirs in South Carolina. The threat is particularly heightened at Lake Wateree, the last and lowest reservoir on the chain.

Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins says the combination of rainfall and runoff will plague the Catawba basin for days or even weeks to come.

Duke began preparing for the arrival of Florence weeks ago by lowering water levels 4 to 5 feet in its four biggest reservoirs — James, Norman, Wylie and Wateree — in anticipation of what Florence was expected to dump across the region.

All that will be compounded by a massive runoff from the river’s countless tributaries, stretching hundreds of miles from the mountains to the S.C. Upstate.

As with rainfall, the bulk of the power outages appear to have occurred in the more heavily populated area of the region, according to Duke Energy.

The number of Mecklenburg County residents doubled throughout Sunday morning, to almost 30,000. At midday, Union County had 5,100 Duke customers without power; Gaston County, 3,800; and York County, 3,200.

By comparison, in New Hanover County/Wilmington alone, where the storm made landfall last week, the outages approached 104,000. Duke estimated that as many as three-quarters of its N.C. customers, or 3 million in all, could lose power before the storm ends.

Much of the Charlotte area and Western North Carolina remained under a flash flood watch into Monday morning.

The National Weather Service says the South Fork River in Gaston County is expected to crest at 6 1/2 feet above flood stage on Monday, threatening roads, bridges, parks and homes, particularly in and around Cramerton.

***** North Carolina 1-year-old missing after being swept away by rushing floodwater
Kaiden Lee's mother lost her grip on the child's hand after getting out of their car.
The search resumed Monday morning, according to officials.
A North Carolina 1-year-old was swept away by rushing floodwaters caused by Florence after his mother lost her grip on the child.
Search and rescue teams spent hours looking for Kaiden Lee-Welch overnight on Sunday into Monday after water from the deadly storm flooded the highway his mother was driving on as she headed east to Wadesboro, North Carolina.

"I was holding his hand, trying to hold him, trying to pull him up ... I couldn't hold on anymore, and he let go," Lee's mother told FOX 46 WJZY.

The search for Kaiden resumed Monday morning, Union County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post.

Kaiden's mother, identified as Dazia Lee by FOX 46 WJZY, told authorities she drove around a barricade on North Carolina Highway 218 toward Wadesboro, when she encountered the swift water rising from Richardson Creek.

The water pushed her car off of the road and and left her stuck in a group of trees, according to police.

Lee was able to get Kaiden out of the car, but the water caused her to lose her grip.

Lee sobbed as she described her son to the local news outlet.

"My son is 1 years old. He's the sweetest boy you could ever have," she said.

It was not immediately clear why Lee was traveling on the highway.

"I did everything everything I could from the moment I was pregnant to the moment I lost him. I did everything I could as a parent to save him and protect him," she said.

Family members joined police in searching for the boy overnight. Police urged residents to avoid Highway 218 due to ongoing flooding.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said on Sunday that flood waters were raging across the state and have created an enormous risk for residents of the state.

With Florence, which has been downgraded to a tropical depression, making its way across the region, flash flood warnings were in effect across much of North Carolina, as well as in northeast South Carolina and southwest Virginia, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is responsible for at least 17 deaths, with the majority the victims located in North Carolina. Two babies and a mother were killed in separate incidents in Gaston County and Wilmington.





Post Sources: Democrat and Chronicle, Fox News, USA Today, Youtube

***** How New York Gov. Cuomo was able to crush Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic primary

Gov. Andrew Cuomo left little to chance in his Democratic primary fight against Cynthia Nixon, a race that drew national attention.

Cuomo, a master at using the levers of power in government, turned all the resources of his campaign and office to his advantage.

He was able to use more than $21 million in campaign spending to tout his record over the past eight years and beat back attacks on scandals that have rocked his administration to land a blowout victory Thursday over the neophyte Nixon.

"We have provided real-life progressive solutions. You cannot have the word 'progressive' without the word 'progress.' It doesn’t work," Cuomo said at a news conference Friday.

Cuomo beat Nixon 66 percent to 34 percent in the primary, on par with his primary victory over Zephyr Teachout in 2014.

Turnout up

The margin of victory came amid a surge in voter turnout: 24 percent of total enrolled Democrats cast a ballot on Thursday compared to 10 percent in 2014.

Cuomo was able to galvanize union support that eluded him in 2014 and that aided turnout along with a Democratic base that is more engaged following President Donald Trump's election.

Turnout was also boosted by heavily contested primaries in the New York City area, in particular, that led to seven Democratic incumbents in the Senate to lose their seats — a remarkable result in a state where incumbents rarely lose.

The Democrats' ire was directed mainly at the former eight-member Democratic Independent Conference, who had aligned with Republicans over much of the past seven years in the Senate, drawing criticism that they blocked progressive legislation.

Six of the eight ex-IDC members lost in primaries, including its former leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, who spent $2 million on his race but still fell to Alessandra Biaggi in a race that stretched into Westchester.

“Voters again made it clear that this is a new day and politics as usual are no longer acceptable," said Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, who heads the mainline Democratic Conference and brokered a unity deal with Klein in April that didn't stave off IDC challengers.

Cuomo's power

It wasn't just that Cuomo blanketed the airwaves with television ads and ads on social media.

He used the power of his office to boost his standing, which drew criticism from his foes, but nonetheless helped him.

"When others were underestimating us, he did not — and he spent accordingly," Nixon said at the opening of her concession speech.

Nearly 1 million property-tax rebate checks were sent out before the primary, when they typically don't go out until late fall and through the winter.

Cuomo's office said the process became more efficient, so the checks went out earlier this year.

Others saw it different.

"The Senate was complaining most loudly about delays in the checks in previous years, and this year’s earlier posting could be seen as a response to those complaints that conveniently serves the governor’s interests as well," said E.J. McMahon, who heads the fiscally conservative Empire Center for Public Policy.

Cuomo will face Republican candidate Marc Molinaro on the November ballot, as well as several third-party candidates, including Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, Libertarian candidate Larry Sharpe and Serve America Movement candidate Stephanie Miner.

Cuomo's aggressiveness also came with peril.
He held a huge ceremony the Friday before the primary to tout the opening of the second span of the Gov. Mario Cuomo Bridge in the Hudson Valley, only for the span's opening to be delayed several days.

And in the days leading up to the primary, Cuomo's campaign was embroiled in controversy over an anti-Semitic mailer it sent out about Nixon -- which the campaign later admitted was inappropriate.

Winning voters

Cuomo used the massive power of his office to his benefit.

Cuomo has the disposal of a state fleet of aircraft, allowing him to make multiple stops per day to discuss policy, make announcements and in recent months bash the Trump administration — which played well with Democrats in the primary.

Cuomo took 195 trips in state planes and helicopters in 2017, the New York Times reported earlier this month, which was significantly more than other big-state governors.

State agencies also put out a series of mailers ahead of the primary, including one from the Department of Motor Vehicles that encouraged residents to vote with the line.

"Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is expanding access and opportunity to New Yorkers to register to vote,” one read, according to the New York Post.

Cuomo, though, credited his strong record and apathy toward Trump as the reason for his success on Primary Day.

uomo targeted Trump more than Nixonduring the campaign, touting his experience in office compared to Nixon.

He said Friday he understands the sentiment of voters, pointing to his record that includes a higher minimum wage, paid-family leave, free SUNY tuition for income-eligible students and a property-tax cap.

His primary ticket all won: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul beat New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams; and Tish James, the New York City public advocate, won a four-candidate race for attorney general.
"A progressive Democrat, a Democrat in New York state. These are not ivory tower academics. These are not pontificators," Cuomo said Friday.

"New York Democrats, these are hard-working men and women. They are middle class; they are working families. They have real problems, and they need real help in life."








Post Sources: Charlotte Observer, CNN, Fox News,, WRAL, Youtube

***** Storm of a lifetime

For days, residents had been told to heed the warnings. Hurricane Florence, at its peak a Category 5, would be the "storm of a lifetime"for portions of the Carolina coast," the National Weather Service said.

It would bring powerful wind, relentless rain and life-threatening storm surge to an area that wasn't used to hurricanes.

More than 1 million people were under mandatory evacuation orders as the storm crawled toward the East Coast.

t would soon become clear why residents had been told to leave.

The calm before the storm

As Florence twisted over the Atlantic Ocean Thursday morning, 65-year-old Deb Frese took a walk along the shoreline. The Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, resident knew the storm could be keeping her inside for a while, so she wanted to fit in one last stroll.

Frese lived in the evacuation zone, about a mile from the beach, but she chose to ride the storm out in her home.

"Flooding, that's the biggest concern," said Frese. She also recognized that she might have to make do without power. But with a stockpile of food, batteries and lanterns, she was prepared to hunker down for "at least a week," she said.

"Then I might have to go."
'This is just the beginning'

By Thursday afternoon, Florence's wind speeds had dropped, and the storm was classified as a Category 2. But forecasters said its biggest threats remained: potentially deadly storm surge, flooding, and what was expected to be a historic rain event.

In New Bern, North Carolina, along the banks of the Neuse River, a CNN crew watched the water rise and flood Union Point Park until they were forced to leave.

Todd Willis, a resident of Kennel Beach, North Carolina, shared video on Facebook of tidal flooding. It was early in the afternoon, and water was already collecting beneath homes lofted on stilts. Some water inched up to the road as Willis drove by.

"This is just the beginning," he said. "It hasn't even gotten here yet and there's already water (in the) bottom parts of people's houses."

By evening, the storm was downgraded to a Category 1. But conditions continued to deteriorate into the night, as thousands of evacuees slept in emergency shelters.

Annazette Riley-Cromartie's home in eastern North Carolina began to flood around midnight. As her kids tried to sleep in a top bunk, her husband could hear voices in the distance.

"While we were still waiting, my husband kept hearing people yelling for help," she told CNN's Anderson Cooper, her voice thick with emotion. Her 6-foot-2 husband tried to go out and help, she said, but the water was already above his chest.

"You just keep hearing people yelling, and you can't do anything," she said. "It's the worst feeling in the world."

Back in New Bern, 200 people trapped in their homes were plucked from the water overnight.

"WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU," the city tweeted. "You may need to move up to the second story, or to your attic, but WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU."

By sunrise Friday, the town had seen about 7 inches of rainfall and 10 feet of storm surge, and scores of people still needed saving.
Trapped by floodwater

At 7:15 a.m., Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, became eerily calm as the eye of Hurricane Florence, now a Category 1 storm, loomed overhead.

Florence, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, had made landfall.

Trees swayed from the wind and toppled over, blocking roads. Deserted streets flooded and swollen rivers escaped their banks. Power transformers exploded in bursts of light like fireworks, leaving hundreds of thousands of electric customers in the dark. Whole neighborhoods soon became swamps.

Back in New Bern, the Cajun Navy and other ragtag teams of volunteers joined emergency responders to rescue people from the rising water.

As water poured into their homes, residents sought refuge in attics.

"In a matter of seconds, my house was flooded up to the waist, and now it is to the chest," Peggy Perry told CNN's Chris Cuomo Friday morning.

"We have been up here for like three or four hours."
In River Bend, south of New Bern, a man shouted out of his open window at a small boat that had been left behind and commandeered by the Maryland Swift Water Rescue Team.

But when they asked if he needed help, the man said no.
He had everything he needed, he said. He just wanted to say hello.

The first deaths

A tree came crashing down on a house in Wilmington, North Carolina.

A family of three was inside the home, and emergency responders worked for hours to save them.

In the afternoon, authorities confirmed that a woman and her infant daughter were dead -- the first known deaths attributed to Florence. The child's father was taken to a local hospital.

A group of firefighters who had rushed to the scene were shaken. They knelt outside the home in a circle and began to pray.

It's time to go'

By Friday evening, Florence had been downgraded to a Tropical Storm.

But the rain showed no signs of abating and rivers continued to spill over their banks.

On Saturday morning, the National Weather Service warned of the possibility of "catastrophic flooding."

"We face walls of water at our coast, along our rivers, across farmland, in our cities and in our towns," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper told reporters that morning. "More people now are facing imminent threat than when the storm was just off shore."

Susan Bostic and her family had initially planned to wait out the storm in their Rocky Point, North Carolina home, not far from the Cape Fear River.

They changed their minds on Saturday, as water from the river spilled onto their property, collecting in big pools on the ground.

Bostic had lived through Hurricane Floyd in 1999, she said, and it took everything -- cars, clothes, her home.

"And they're expecting this to be even higher," she said. "So we know it's time to go."

About 40 miles to the northeast, in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Marti Dias was grappling with the same realization. She watched water from the New River slowly creep up her street, mailboxes jutting above the surface. Some of her neighbors had already left. It was time to go.

"I'm not going to lie, I cried this morning," she told CNN. "I broke down and cried."

Residents of Lumberton, North Carolina, also kept a wary eye on their own Lumber River, which quickly rose foot after foot as heavy rains continued to drench the state. The river had inundated Lumberton two years before, during Hurricane Matthew, and city officials scrambled this week to plug a hole in the town's levee system.

As floodwaters rose, roads quickly became impassable. An abandoned car was left running idle in the street with water lapping at the passenger windows.

That night, emergency responders and volunteers in Wilmington, North Carolina, made about 700 rescues; Pender County conducted 172, and lost two ambulances in the floodwaters.

By the end of the day, 13 people would be confirmed dead, several of them from flash flooding.

On Saturday evening, Hailey Burgalow was traveling to Virginia with her sister, her sister's boyfriend and her aunt when they hit flooding on Interstate 95, forcing them to pull off and venture into Lumberton.

The town was still in the process of recovering from Hurricane Matthew, and many homes appeared to be abandoned or in disrepair, their windows boarded up and weeds growing tall in the yards.

The group parked at a gas station and tried to get some sleep in the car, Burgalow told CNN. Eventually, a police officer stopped, and they asked him if there was any way to make their way north. There wasn't, the officer told them. He directed them to a shelter that was filled with evacuees.

"They ran out of cots and blankets," Burgalow told CNN. "It was super crowded, but we were thankful."
On Sunday morning, Burgalow and her family realized they were stuck there.

Flooded roads and fragile levees

The National Hurricane Center issued its final advisory for Florence on Sunday morning as the storm, crawling inland, weakened to a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph -- but plenty of rain was still on its way.

The center said in its last advisory that southeast North Carolina could see up to 40 inches of rain, and also warned of the risks of landslides across western North Carolina and southwest Virginia.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo called the flooding in the northern part of the county a "phenomenon," and "something we've never seen before." The city was essentially cut off from the rest of the state because of high waters, he said.

Any direction you try coming into the city -- from 20 to 40 miles out, roads are impassable," he said. "Anyone trying to get in here -- don't try. You will be turned away."

The Lumber River was close to 25 feet high by midday -- 12 feet above flood stage. At 26 feet, Lumberton city officials said, the levee around the river could be overwhelmed.

At that point, "all bets are off," said Corey Walters, deputy director of Public Works.

The rain had slowed down overnight, he said, giving officials another chance to try and plug the gap in the levee system -- but Walters didn't sound optimistic.

"Our crews are taking one more crack at trying to stop it," Walters said. "We're just fighting time here. There's another rain band that's going to be coming through and we know it. We're expecting to get another 4 to 6 inches."

Water began seeping beneath the sand barriers workers had placed there Sunday afternoon.

Bobby Hunt was just about finished packing belongings into the back of his pickup truck.

"Y'all ready? Lets get in the truck and get out of here," Hunt told his wife and cousin as they prepared to leave their boarded-up Lumberton home, which still bore the damage from Hurricane Matthew.

That storm had caught them by surprise with flooding in the middle of the night, he told CNN.

But after being told by the city that the levee could be overwhelmed, the family didn't hesitate to leave.

On Sunday, Bostic, who fled her Rocky Point home the day before, learned she and her family got out just in time.

Her home, about 200 yards from the river bank, was submerged, and the water was still rising.
Nearly 20 years after Bostic lost almost everything to Hurricane Floyd, Florence would also force her to start over.
It's not over

On Sunday, two more deaths were confirmed in South Carolina, bringing the toll to at least 18.

Hundreds upon hundreds had been rescued in the Carolinas.

There were at least 170 patients in four medical shelters across the state, and officials believed more would be on their way as the rescues and flooding continued throughout the day.

Pender County, North Carolina officials said they had received 300 calls for help by Sunday.

Rescue attempts and other essential services were hindered by a lack of fuel.

Gov. Cooper accompanied the Coast Guard on a flyover of flooded areas in North Carolina.

He said he saw significant flooding in the farmland of Jacksonville and throughout Onslow County.

In New Bern, where the drama of Friday morning had significantly diminished, the governor saw boats washed up in town and significant debris.

Flying over Fayetteville, he said, "it was stark to see the raging Cape Fear River, and you knew it was rising and you could see these vulnerable communities."

We've got a tall task ahead," Cooper said.

The rain had slowed a little in Fayetteville, but officials there worried that would lure residents into a false sense of security and prompt them to make their way back.

"We're going to get hammered," said Kevin Arata, the city's director of communications.

"The worst is still yet to come."

Friday, September 14, 2018






Post Sources: Charlotte Observer, Fox News, Youtube

***** Charlotte at ‘extreme’ risk for flooding this weekend

Friday, 8:35 a.m. There’s little deviation in the National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. track for Florence, which shows the storm is expected to move south and west across South Carolina through Saturday before turning north and west into North Carolina.

The storm is expected to cross the Columbia, S.C. region on Saturday. Charlotte is in line for 10 to 15 inches of rain and potential tropical storm-force winds, the National Hurricane Center predicts.

Friday, 8 a.m.

The National Weather Service’s Greer, S.C. office is predicting Charlotte will receive a massive deluge this weekend as Florence moves inland. That’s elevated the risk for flooding to “extreme” in Charlotte and the surrounding counties for Saturday and Sunday.

A flash flood watch will be in effect this weekend for most of the region. The Charlotte area could receive a foot or more of rain, the weather service is predicting.

Florence’s 5 a.m. track from the National Hurricane Center shows the storm moving across Columbia, S.C. on Saturday afternoon, before turning northwest and heading for North Carolina. That would bring it near the Charlotte region as a tropical storm or tropical depression, dumping heavy rain before moving into Tennessee and Virginia early Monday.

Florence drops to Cat 1, but still ‘life-threatening’

Thursday, 11 p.m.: Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane but was delivering “life-threatening storm surge” along the NC coast, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. Florence had 90 mph winds, and the “threat of freshwater flooding will increase” in the days ahead, according to the advisory. The storm was about 60 miles east of Wilmington.

Islamic Center opens doors to evacuees

Thursday, 9:24 p.m.: The Islamic Center of Charlotte, 1700 Progress Lane, tweeted that it is partnering with United Muslim Relief to provide fresh water and basic aid packs to evacuees and is “opening our doors as a shelter ... to help those in need.“

Charlotte braces for more rain than expected

Thursday, 8:21 p.m.: Charlotte’s airport can expect 10.83 inches of rain during Florence, according to the latest projected rainfall totals from the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C. That’s up significantly from Wednesday’s NWS estimate of 6.3 inches.

Areas to the south and east of Charlotte could see even more rain and flooding — 14.5 inches in Monroe, 13.67 inches in Concord, 14.7 inches in Albemarle and 18.46 inches in Anson County, said meteorologist Doug Outlaw of the National Weather Service in Greer, S.C.

Higher amounts also are forecast for cities to the west of Charlotte, with Gastonia at 9.64 inches, Lincolnton 8.78 inches and Shelby 6.8 inches.

The mountains should see far smaller amounts, according to Outlaw, with only 3.54 inches anticipated in Asheville.

Government offices to close at noon Friday

Thursday, 5:03 p.m.: City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County government offices will close at noon Friday ahead of the storm, the city and county announced in a joint news release.

CharMeck 311 and 911 emergency services will remain active. CharMeck 311 will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Storm emergency updates: .

Volunteers respond to call to deliver meals to shut-ins

Thursday, 4:52 p.m.: Friendship Trays, the nonprofit that provides meals for shut-ins, the elderly and people who can’t cook for themselves, was overwhelmed with help Thursday after putting out word on social media that they needed volunteer drivers, said executive director Lucy Carter Bush. So many people stepped up, they couldn’t answer all the messages.

“It was wild,” she said. “We got what we needed and then some.”

Friendship Trays was delivering both meals and emergency packs with canned goods, to make sure their clients could get through the weekend.

Monday is still up in the air, Bush said. Since no one knows how conditions will develop over the weekend, she doesn’t yet know if they’ll be able to make deliveries. If they can, they will need more volunteers, she said.

They’ll post updates on the website,, and through a recording on their phone line, 704-333-9229.

Mecklenburg County jail inmates allowed free calls

Thursday, 4:33 p.m.: Sheriff Irwin Carmichael approved a request from Global Tel Link Inc. to offer inmates two free 5-minute phone calls per day Thursday through Saturday.

“We know how important it is to get reassurances from loved ones that they are taking the necessary steps to prepare,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Plenty of space at Red Cross shelters

Thursday, 4 p.m.: The Observer visited each of the Charlotte area’s five Red Cross shelters on Thursday, and all five had plenty of space available.

The busiest, at East Mecklenburg High School, had only about a quarter of its beds occupied at midday. Several shelters were almost empty Thursday.

All of the shelters accept pets, and by 4 p.m. Thursday, the North Mecklenburg High shelter was housing two dogs, two cats and a bearded dragon.

Islamic Center opens doors to evacuees

Thursday, 9:24 p.m.: The Islamic Center of Charlotte, 1700 Progress Lane, tweeted that it is partnering with United Muslim Relief to provide fresh water and basic aid packs to evacuees and is “opening our doors as a shelter ... to help those in need.“

CharMeck 311 and 911 emergency services will remain active. CharMeck 311 will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Storm emergency updates: .

Wednesday, September 12, 2018



CONTACT FEMA 1-800-621-3362


Post Sources: FEMA, NBC News, Washington Post, WRAL, Youtube

***** FEMA already setting up Florence relief operation at Fort Bragg

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is setting up its relief operation for Hurricane Florence even before the massive storm hits North Carolina.

FEMA tractor-trailers filled with water and non-perishable food began rolling in Monday at Simmons Army Airfield on Fort Bragg. Officials said the staging area will provide hurricane relief to South Carolina and parts of Virginia as well as to North Carolina.

Portable generators – some large enough to power a small city – sit on flatbed trailers at the staging area.

Gov. Roy Cooper said officials have learned from past hurricanes that flooded roads and downed trees and power lines can make it hard to get supplies distributed after the storm, so he asked FEMA to move some of the supplies closer to areas that are likely to be hardest hit by Florence.

On Tuesday afternoon, Cooper met with the FEMA team at Fort Bragg and was briefed on the supplies on hand.

"We've distributed to a number of areas now because we know that they will be needed," he said. "Food, water, supplies, cots, generators are already being distributed out there in places that we know will need it."

Meanwhile, about 80 Black Hawk and Apache Longbow helicopters flew out of Simmons Army Airfield earlier Tuesday to a location near Atlanta to get out of Florence's path.

The Black Hawk helicopters could be used to help with hurricane relief efforts, if requested by the governor. But the Apache helicopters are purely fighting machines and wouldn't be useful in hurricane relief.

"If we lose these aircraft to a storm, it impacts our ability to be ready in case of any type of contingency world-round," said LTC Bryan Hummel, of the 82nd Airborne Division's Combat Aviation Brigade. "So we got to make sure we get them out and get them in a safe location, and then when the storm's passed – a couple of days after that – most likely we'll go back and recover them back here, and we'll continue to start training."

Because the Apache helicopters cost $16 million to $20 million each, it's also cheaper to fly the 80 aircraft to Georgia that risk any of them being damaged in the storm.

Monday, September 10, 2018





"9 Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,
10 There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.
11 For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
12 They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.
14 Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation."

Post Sources: NY Times, CBS News, Youtube

**** Hurricane Florence Threatens Carolinas; 1 Million Ordered to Evacuate

With Hurricane Florence swiftly gaining strength and bearing down on the Southeast, Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina on Monday ordered more than a million people living in eight coastal counties to evacuate inland.

“We do not want to risk one South Carolina life in this hurricane,” the governor said at a news conference Monday afternoon.

Evacuations were also ordered in parts of North Carolina as the region braced for a major destructive hurricane projected to make landfall late Thursday or Friday, with damaging winds, torrential rains and a potentially destructive storm surge.

The South Carolina evacuation order takes effect at noon Tuesday. Governor McMaster said that lanes of two major divided highways — Interstate 26 and U.S. 501 — would be reversed to make the roads one-way, carrying traffic only away from the coast, and that two others may also be reversed if needed. Schools and state offices in about half the state would be closed starting on Tuesday, the governor said.

Hurricane Florence swiftly strengthened into a major storm on Monday as it churned across the Atlantic Ocean toward the coast of the Carolinas. By 5 p.m. Eastern Time, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 140 miles an hour with higher gusts, according to the National Hurricane Center, and “further strengthening is anticipated.”

The center upgraded the storm at noon to Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity, only an hour after upgrading it to Category 3.

Forecasting models show the hurricane headed for a landfall somewhere near the border of North Carolina and South Carolina. Destructive winds extending as far as 150 miles in all directions from the storm’s center may be felt on shore as soon as Wednesday night.

President Trump, who was criticized for his response to the crisis in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria last year, signaled that he was on top of this storm in a pair of tweets on Monday.

In coastal Dare County, N.C., the local emergency management agency announced a mandatory evacuation order that took effect Monday at noon, for all residents and visitors on Hatteras Island, the long, slender barrier island off the North Carolina coast.

A similar order will go into effect Tuesday for other nearby communities, including Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Roanoke Island, Duck, Manteo, Southern Shores and the mainland portion of Dare County, according to a statement from the county.

Social media users reported that stores in both states were being bought out of bottled water and other supplies as residents prepared for the storm.

The hurricane center warned that in addition to damaging winds, the “extremely dangerous” storm posed two kinds of flooding threats — a storm surge of salt water along the coast, and freshwater flooding inland from very heavy rains — as well as dangerous surf and riptides along much of the Eastern Seaboard.




Post Sources: ESPN, Herald Sun, Washington Post, Yahoo Sports, Youtube

**** Australian newspaper prints racist cartoon about Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka

Serena Williams made headlines (and was fined $17,000) for her outburst over the officiating nightmare at the U.S. Open women’s final on Saturday. It was a polarizing moment, with Williams calling out the double standard for the conduct women’s tennis players and the inconsistent application of the rules. Now, days after the incident, a newspaper cartoonist from Australia has put his spin on it. And his spin is really, really racist.

Editorial cartoonist Mark Knight of the Australian newspaper the Herald Sun was so proud of his Serena Williams-U.S. Open cartoon, which was published in the newspaper, that he posted it on his Twitter account early Monday morning.

If you’re wondering why he was proud, you’re not alone. He depicts Serena Williams, one of the greatest athletes of all time, as a racist stereotype, with a huge nose and big lips. She’s drawn like a Hulk baby, her strength and power twisted into infantile ugliness as she stomps on her racquet with a pacifier on the ground.

As if the racist depiction of Williams wasn’t enough, there’s more. Naomi Osaka, who beat Williams on Saturday, is Japanese-Haitian. But in the cartoon, she’s drawn as a busty, blonde white woman. And the only words in the cartoon are uttered by the umpire, who says “Can’t you just let her win?” That makes it seem like he played zero part in Saturday’s controversy, but it also implies that Williams needs to be “allowed” to win because she’s not talented enough or because she’s too “angry.”

Twitter’s response was swift and angry

Considering that the racism in Knight’s cartoon was so immense that it could have been spotted from space, Twitter jumped on it immediately and called it out for what it was: racist, hurtful, and 100% unnecessary.

In this one, Williams is drawn like a racist stereotype again, with the big lips and nose, and very defined cheeks. Additionally, she barely looks like a woman, which is obviously intentional. She’s holding up a sign and being approached by a Nike executive, in an effort to tie in the brand’s recent Colin Kaepernick commercial and make it look like Williams fighting for herself on the court was just a PR move.

Williams’ race isn’t brought up in the text of the cartoon itself, but she’s still drawn like a racist stereotype. Zanetti made the choice to draw her that way, when drawing Williams like a person wouldn’t have changed the overall meaning of the cartoon at all. But he did draw her that way, because the point of the cartoon is to make Williams look bad, not just for challenging the double standard of women’s conduct in tennis and being emotional on the court, but apparently just for being African-American.

Sunday, September 9, 2018





Post Sources: AP, Charlotte Observer, Yahoo News, WLTX, Youtube

**** Florence to strengthen into hurricane Sunday, target East Coast as major storm

Florence to strengthen into hurricane Sunday, target East Coast as major storm originally appeared on

Tropical Storm Florence is expected to intensify into a hurricane on Sunday as it continues to take aim at the United States' southeast coast.

Governors in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina all declared states of emergency over the past two days in anticipation of the hurricane.

"While the impacts of Tropical Storm Florence to Virginia are still uncertain, forecasts increasingly expect the storm to strengthen into a major hurricane that could seriously affect the East Coast and Virginians," Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said Saturday as his state became the latest to declare a state of emergency.

Florence has sustained winds of 70 mph on Sunday morning and is located 765 miles southeast of Bermuda. The storm is moving west at 6 mph. Florence is looking more organized Sunday morning on satellite.

Tropical storm force winds extend 125 miles from the center.

Florence is forecast to move west Sunday, but then begin to turn west-northwest by Monday. The current forecast track brings Florence on approach to the southeast U.S. coast on Thursday as a major and powerful hurricane.

Due to warm ocean temperatures and lack of shear, Florence will be in a very favorable environment for development. The storm is expected to undergo rapid intensification beginning on Sunday night, and will likely become a major hurricane by Monday.

Strong high pressure will develop north of Florence later this week, which should cause the storm to move northwest toward the Southeast coastline. Several forecast models have begun to hint that this high pressure becomes strong enough to cause Florence to slow down tremendously late in the week.

The risk of direct impacts in the U.S. are increasing.

It remains too soon to determine the location and magnitude of impacts from Florence.

The National Hurricane Center is advising "interests along the U.S. East Coast, particularly from North Florida through North Carolina, should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials."

Isaac next to become hurricane
Moving southeast in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Isaac currently has winds of 50 mph and is moving west at 9 mph. The storm is 1,540 miles east of the Windward Islands. Isaac is forecast to strengthen over the coming days.

The storm is expected to continue moving west in the next few days and become a hurricane by Monday.

Isaac will be near the Lesser Antilles later this week and could bring impacts to parts of the Caribbean Islands during this time frame.

Olivia aiming for Hawaii
In the Pacific, Hurricane Olivia currently has winds of 80 mph, and is approximately 825 miles east-northeast of Hilo, Hawaii.

Olivia is expected to move west through Monday before turning west-southwest late Monday and early Tuesday local time. On the current track, Olivia may be near the Hawaiian Islands by late Tuesday.

Even though Olivia is expected to weaken, it could still bring impacts to the Hawaiian Islands by midweek.

Regardless of forecast track, significant effects from Olivia are possible in Hawaii, which could be enhanced due to the unique terrain of Hawaii.