Friday, December 15, 2017
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.

Comments

High school scoreboard for Dec. 15

Friday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 7, Clearwater 0Osceola 9, Bradenton Bayshore 0Palm Harbor U. 2, Plant 1Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 0, Plant 0Lennard 4, Armwood 1
Updated: 2 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Fri., Dec. 15, midday:01 563 0000e_SRit95765Fri., Dec. 15, evening:12 287 1492e_SRit04851Fantasy 5Fri., Dec. 15...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

Gators play Nebraska, still seeking elusive volleyball title

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There is very little these days that can dampen the mood of Florida volleyball coach Mary Wise, whose Gators knocked off reigning national champion Stanford in Thursday’s NCAA semifinals and face Nebraska tonight for the title. Not...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Festivus 2017: Send us your best grievances

Here's your chance. Tell us what annoyed you in 2017, and we'll share it with our readers.
Updated: 4 hours ago
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

A federal judge Friday said a bail package has been put together that would release former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from home confinement in his condominium in Virginia and allow him to reside at his house in Palm Beach Gardens, but unde...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men who ran from deputies and shot a dog were captured after a brief pursuit Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.They ditched a stolen car, ran away on foot, crossed through several yards and then tr...
Updated: 5 hours ago