Monday, May 21, 2018
News Roundup

Mountain areas brace for snow, prepare plows

Mountain areas prepare plows, brace for snow

Snow plows were out in parts of the southern Appalachian Mountains on Monday, preparing for as much as 3 feet of snow in higher elevations spawned by the merger of a winter storm with Hurricane Sandy. The early snowfall could be a boon for the area's ski resorts, which have sometimes struggled to keep their slopes open with a warming climate. Forecasters in West Virginia expanded a blizzard warning to at least 14 counties for high winds and heavy, wet snow. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency. Farther south in Boone, N.C., as much as a foot of snow was expected at higher elevations.

Construction crane collapses in N.Y.

A construction crane atop a $1.5 billion luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan collapsed in high winds Monday and dangled precariously, prompting plans for engineers and inspectors to climb 74 flights of stairs to examine it as a huge storm bore down on the city. The harrowing inspection task was being undertaken by experts who are "the best of the best," city Buildings Department spokesman Tony Sclafani said. Some buildings, including the Parker Meridien hotel, were being evacuated as a precaution, and the streets below were cleared, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Lady Liberty's lamp goes dark

Around 7 p.m. the torch at the top of the Statue of Liberty, which shone all through thick daytime fog, driving rain and an early nightfall, went black. Soon after, lights began blinking out in buildings all over Lower Manhattan, and two flashes that looked like explosions lighted the sky above New Jersey. Consolidated Edison also took the unprecedented step of cutting off power to customers because of weather as the surge of water pushed into parts of Lower Manhattan. About 7:47 p.m., with the tide at 12.6 feet above normal high tide, a Con Ed official called for the Brighton Beach network to be turned off.

Business as usual for Supreme Court

With official Washington, D.C., shut down by Hurricane Sandy, the full Supreme Court showed up Monday for work. Rain was pelting outside, but it was a full house indoors, with lawyers and tourists filling the chamber. The justices heard cases about national security and a consumer issue involving the resale of goods manufactured overseas.

Air Force team at MacDill for now

An Air Force rapid-response team has transferred about 65 personnel and tons of equipment from their home in New Jersey to MacDill Air Force Base and out of the path of Hurricane Sandy. Elements of the 621st Contingency Response Wing arrived Sunday at MacDill and expect to remain for several days, according to the wing. The wing, one of several around the nation, is used by the Pentagon to respond anywhere in the world to prepare the way for the shipment of U.S. personnel and equipment. The 621st can be used for anything from the support of wartime operations to humanitarian efforts such as those after the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan. Among other duties, the wing ensures that airports can adequately support aircraft. Much of the wing's equipment flew into MacDill in giant C-17 Globemaster III cargo planes. Wing personnel are awaiting word on whether they'll be needed to respond to the hurricane.

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Man recalls beating from Hernando deputies in federal excessive force trial

Man recalls beating from Hernando deputies in federal excessive force trial

TAMPA — The allegations at the core of Michael Bratt’s lawsuit against three Hernando County deputies have been repeated in court papers for eight years since his violent arrest.But on Monday, a federal jury in Tampa heard Bratt describe in his own w...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District and its teachers’ union moved closer to resolving their salary dispute during Monday’s negotiating session — but stopped short of reaching an agreement.The teachers, who have spent this school year work...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

Rays journal: Christian Arroyo set to play first game at Tropicana Field

ST. PETERSBURG  — Christian Arroyo has watched more than 50 Rays games at Tropicana Field from the stands. Has been on the turf for his younger sister's gymnastics competitions and once, while it was in football configuration, to take grou...
Updated: 1 hour ago

FDLE: Pasco couple scammed elderly employer out of $480,000

TAMPA — A Pasco County couple face dozens of charges after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said they stole more than $480,000 from their elderly employer.Chet Alan Ragsdale, 45, was arrested Monday on 28 counts of grand theft, 25 counts of ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
State softball: Academy at the Lakes romps in long-awaited semifinal

State softball: Academy at the Lakes romps in long-awaited semifinal

VERO BEACH — On a day when the weather at the state softball tournament finally said yes, Academy at the Lakes pitcher Alexis Kilfoyl said no to Lake Worth Christian.The hard-throwing right-hander fired a no-hitter in a Class 2A semifinal Monday morn...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Prepare yourselves: Golden Knights will be talk of the Stanley Cup final

Prepare yourselves: Golden Knights will be talk of the Stanley Cup final

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It's incredible. Unbelievable, really. Maybe the best sports story in this country and the sport of hockey since 1980's Miracle on Ice.And, as a side note, if the Lightning reaches the Stanley Cup final, everyone in the count...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Oscar Mayer asked people to tweet photos of hot dog toppings. They got toothpaste and Pepto.

Oscar Mayer asked people to tweet photos of hot dog toppings. They got toothpaste and Pepto.

Oscar Mayer last week asked people on Twitter to tweet a photo at them of toppings on their new hot dogs — which the company described as "improved."The payoff? A year’s supply of hot dogs hand-delivered by none other than the iconic Wienermobile.Sha...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Less than one year after historic flooding, Alafia River spills its banks again

Less than one year after historic flooding, Alafia River spills its banks again

LITHIA — Frank Rodriguez was still several hundred yards from his house Monday when he pulled his SUV to the side of the road and changed into a pair of beach shoes.Ahead of him, the way home along River Drive was submerged. He was spared a wade thro...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Company that spilled fertilizer at Tampa port says not as much hit the water

The company that on Friday reported spilling 2 tons of fertilizer into a channel feeding into Tampa Bay says now that the amount was far smaller — 200 pounds, at most.Both Kinder Morgan, which spilled the fertilizer, and the state Department of Envir...
Updated: 1 hour ago
4 sinkholes open in The Villages retirement community

4 sinkholes open in The Villages retirement community

THE VILLAGES — Four sinkholes have opened up in a fast-growing retirement community in Florida, including one in front of a home that was abandoned months ago because of an earlier sinkhole. A spokeswoman for the Marion County Sheriff’s Office says t...
Updated: 2 hours ago