Friday, January 19, 2018
News Roundup

New Yorkers struggle for basic necessities

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city would send bottled water and ready-to-eat meals into the hardest-hit neighborhoods, but some New Yorkers grew dispirited after days without power, water and heat and decided to get out.

"It's dirty, and it's getting a little crazy down there," said Michael Tomeo, who boarded a bus to Philadelphia with his 4-year-old son. "It just feels like you wouldn't want to be out at night. Everything's pitch dark. I'm tired of it, big-time."

The mounting despair came even as the subways began rolling again after a three-day shutdown. Service was restored to most of the city, but not the most stricken parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn, where the tunnels were flooded. A gas shortage, delayed delivery of promised food and water supplies, water-damaged homes and a prolonged lack of power put people on edge.

"People are desperate," said Beatrice Rivera, a Chinatown resident who waded through knee-deep water Thursday to get to a fire hydrant to wash clothes. Other neighbors outside her blacked-out building filled water buckets there.

She said some people were charging $5 to charge cellphones from their cars.

For six hours, Rivera and hundreds of other people waited in line for packaged meals and bottled water to be distributed by National Guard and the Salvation Army on the Lower East Side. The Smith Houses, which face the East River, were flooded up to the first floor.

Bloomberg said city workers and volunteers would provide food, water and other necessities to those stranded, for example, in high-rise buildings without working elevators.

"People are transitioning from shock to real world problems: How do you get water? How do you get food?" he said at a City Hall briefing.

Networks schedule telethons for victims

NBCUniversal said Thursday that it would show a one-hour telethon and concert on its flagship NBC network and its cable channels Friday night to benefit relief efforts for victims of the storm. The ABC television network said it would turn Monday into a "Day of Giving," starting with Good Morning America and ending with Jimmy Kimmel Live. NBC's telethon, "Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together," will be held at one of NBC's studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan. Among the artists scheduled to perform are Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi, Sting, Christina Aguilera and Fallon.

Search suspended for 'Bounty' captain

The U.S. Coast Guard halted its search Thursday for the captain of the HMS Bounty, which sank off the North Carolina coast during Hurricane Sandy after more than three days of around-the-clock effort. The Coast Guard for 90 hours searched for 63-year-old Robin Walbridge of St. Petersburg.

FEMA sets up centers for disaster aid

Federal officials moved to establish disaster-recovery centers in storm-damaged areas of New Jersey as relief equipment and workers poured in, aid money began to flow, and state police were dispatched to arrest looters. By Thursday morning, more than 36,000 storm victims from New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut had applied for federal disaster assistance, and more than $3.4 million in aid had been approved for some of them, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Military vehicles to serve N.J. voters

New Jersey officials say they will deploy military trucks to serve as polling places on Election Day in storm-battered communities and are also extending the deadline for mail-in ballots. The trucks will be parked at polling places that don't have power.

Comments

Scott appoints prosecutor, Clearwater lawyer to Pinellas-Pasco judicial vacancies

Gov. Rick Scott appointed two Tampa Bay lawyers to fill judicial vacancies in the Pinellas-Pasco circuit, his office announced Friday.Christopher LaBruzzo, 42, is an assistant state attorney at the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office. A Tulane Uni...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Former youth football president accused of stealing $29,000 from Pinellas league

Former youth football president accused of stealing $29,000 from Pinellas league

PALM HARBOR — The former president of a local youth football league is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the group and using it in part to buy a mobile home.According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, deputies on Tuesday arrested L...
Updated: 14 minutes ago

Crews Lake thespians overcome the odds

SPRING HILL — It’s 8:30 a.m. — "homeroom" period in school speak — when kids in the Crews Lake Middle School drama club file into an empty chorus room to begin rehearsing under the direction of language arts teacher Kristen Sykora. There’s only 25 m...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

ST. PETERSBURG — Tony Jannus’s history-making flight in an early seaplane — simultaneously as ungainly and graceful as a pelican on the wing — is what Mayor Rick Kriseman calls an "under-told and under-appreciated" story, but a team of local history ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Autopsy: MLB star Roy Halladay died from blunt force trauma, drowning

Autopsy: MLB star Roy Halladay died from blunt force trauma, drowning

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Roy Halladay died from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor when he crashed his personal plane into the water off New Port Richey in November, according to an autopsy report released Friday.Ha...
Updated: 1 hour ago
U.S. Attorney: Tampa woman uses soulfood restaurant as part of IRS scheme, steals thousands

U.S. Attorney: Tampa woman uses soulfood restaurant as part of IRS scheme, steals thousands

TAMPA — The owner of a soul and seafood restaurant is facing more than 10 years in federal prison for filing dozens of false tax returns and stealing thousands of dollars, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.Natalie Rene Panko, 57, owner of Ladie...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest hope for transportation in the Tampa Bay area is a bus rapid transit system projected to cover the 41-miles separating St. Petersburg from Wesley Chapel and attract 4,500 new riders at a fraction of the cost of light rail....
Updated: 1 hour ago

Editorial: Confronting racial distrust in St. Petersburg, one conversation at a time

The St. Petersburg Police Department’s heavy presence in Midtown on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the community animosity it stirred have raised a familiar, troubling question: Can St. Petersburg’s racial divisions ever be reconciled?That big ideal ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Cuts hit top school leaders as Hillsborough sheds three six-figure salaries

Cuts hit top school leaders as Hillsborough sheds three six-figure salaries

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins on Friday announced the first in a series of belt-tightening moves that include the elimination of three six-figure positions.Jobs now held by Wynne Tye and Larry Sykes will no longer exis...
Updated: 2 hours ago
That noise you hear from MacDill is low-flying A-10 Warthogs in training

That noise you hear from MacDill is low-flying A-10 Warthogs in training

TAMPA — If you hear loud noises coming from MacDill Air Force Base over the next few days, don’t be alarmed.It’s the sound of flying Hogs.A squadron of A-10C Warthogs, beloved by troops in the field for their ability to swoop low and slow and tear ap...
Updated: 2 hours ago