In the news by vander kok

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FEMA has cancelled debit cards—going to direct deposit instead. Call … 800621-3362.. or … an additional 17 pumps are now in place. 350,000 still without electricity..the airport will re-open on Sept 19.. man attacked by bear in Glacier National park… did all he could to to protect his daughter—they both survived but he had multiple injuries.

About 4000 registered sex offenders on the loose around New Orleans—300 of whom they are worried about. ..800342-6110…for those on parole. To register their new location.

ARC made a call for 40,000 new volunteers.. first time in Red Cross organization that they launched such a massive drive, said spokesman John Degman…first shift of 10,000 recruits will be needed to relieve 36,000 volunteers. More than 160,000 survivors are staying at 675 shelters in 23 states. Last night the Red Cross served 500,000 hot meals. As of Saturday morning FEMA had given out more than 650 million in expedited assistance and 13 million via debit card. Notre Dame beat Michigan 17-10—under ND’s new coach., the former offensive coordinator for New England Patriots.. ..who helped them win three of the last 4 Superbowls..and Weis was a student at ND.. but while there.. UM did not play ND.. the rivalry resumed in 1978, the year after Weis graduated.

Central Michigan football players including star running back Jay Seymour were charged Tuesday in the fatal beating of a 26 year old man.. by the name of Graham of Mt. Pleasant.. beaten unconscious outside Shabooms Pub on June 25, 2004..he died 19 days later..

Reporter Karsten—a former college football sideline reporter was found dead at his home just before he was scheduled to report to federal prison for tax evasion ..he was 45 years old.. he had previously pled guilty to failing to file federal income tax returns on income totaling $360,000 from 2001-2002—was supposed to report to a 11 year sentence .. no foul play indicated. ..

Some of these agencies included Mike Diamond Plumbing, Ralphs , So. Cal Edison, Home Depot, Kaiser Permanente, & Pep Boys, as well as various employment agencies and non-profit groups. “At any given time there are roughly 800 job openings ranging from entry level to professional throughout Edison’s service area”, said an Edison spokesperson . Maria Shriver visited the Dream Center and reminded the people there that there are about 90,000 people in Los Angeles who are homeless.

[uggh] Movie by Ang Lee about the homosexual love between two cowboys set in the conservative west of the 1960’s won the Venice Film Festival’s top award Saturday. New Orleans Police Force has approximately 1750 officers---300 of whom are missing. Restaurant in N.E. China—advertised Tiger Meat dishes was found instead to be selling donkey meat marinated in Tiger urine. Huf Ulou Restaurant located beside the Heidaohezi Tiger Reserve near the city of Hailan advertised “Stir fried tiger meat with chilis” for 95 dollars.

Shaquille O’Neal helped load an item into the cavernous 18 wheel trailer and pointed to the generous stranger, saying, “Give the man a hug” to his children who quickly obliged. O’Neal and his wife have coordinated efforts to assist those affected by Hurricane Katrina. On Saturday O’neal was on the front line personally accepting donations from those inclined to help. Trailers hired by the O’Neal family are expected to roll on Tuesday towards Baton Rouge, LA where O’Neal attended LSU. They’ve taken in 10,000 gallons of water , diapers, peroxide, personal items, clothing, and even refrigerators and beds, which will be used to furnish 400 apartments the O’Neals plan to rent out for refugees.

The place where they repaired Space Shuttle fuel tanks has normally been at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, but it was damaged by the storm and could affect the planned shuttle flights in the near future. NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis MISS..where the shuttle main engines are tested was also damaged—both sites damage was mainly to facilities roofs, but at Michoud one of the shuttles was dinged by debris. T

The Space Agency estimates the hurricane caused about 1 billion dollars in damage at these facilities. Penguins, sea otters, rare Australian sea dragons, a 250 pound sea turtle named Midas, all survivors of Katrina were loaded into crates on Friday to be lifted out of New Orleans Aquarium of America. 19 penguins were taken to Monterey Bay Aquarium in California to be joined by a couple of California Sea Otters. Most of the aquarium’s 10,000 fish did not survive after the storm knocked out power which keeps the water habitable, and the emergency generator later failed.

The sea dragons, to the surprise of Aquarium officials, however, did survive—despite the fluctuation of water temperature—the slightest of which the officials previously thought would negatively affect. The Aquarium of Americas was considered one of the foremost aquariums in the world.

More than 120 Gulf of Mexico Oil & Gas platforms are still shut down as of Saturday and more than 60% of the Gulf’s daily oil production remained blocked from the market due to evacuations from Katrina.

Northridge Earthquake cost federal govt 15 to 20 billion. The Katrina disaster could cost New Orleans 100 billion alone in federal relief funds.. 200 billion is the estimate total for the entire affected area.

Santa Ana’s festival has been changed to next weekend. Agassi faces Federer in the US Open Final. Agassi is the oldest grand slam finalist in 31 years. He won the US Open in ’94 and ’99. Agassi is married to Stefi Graf. I didn’t know that. He used to be close to Brooke Shields. He has two children—Jaden and Jaz. . First time in his 20 year career that he has had to play three five set matches in a row. He’s also played against McEnroe, Conners, Lendl, & Edberg. He has an older brother named Philip.

CNN sued the federal govt to stop the federal ban on media coverage of the cleanup. Surprised that Glenn did not know where Freed lived. Notre Dame hasn’t beat U of M at home since 1993. Glenn Gritzner is the special assistance to superintendent Roy Romer, commented to the press re. the Ambassador Hotel and the LAUSD”s planned use of it, for which they paid 76 million dollars. They plan to build four schools on the campus and preserve part of it—including an auditorium and a library which encompasses the current building. The 1000 room Ambassador Hotel which opened in 1921 and hosted six academy award ceremonies was considered a historic gem by preservationists. It closed in 1989.

Every U.S. President from Herbert Hoover to Richard Nixon stayed at the hotel, as well as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Valentino, & Albert Einstein. It became infamous when Sirhan Sirhan shot Kennedy to death in the hotel pantry moments after the candidate declared victory in the 1960 California democratic presidential primary. . LAUSD has agreed to recreate the ballroom where Kennedy gave his final speech and turn it into a library. Story by Alicia Chang. Student at UK’s Royal College of Art, Peter Bruin, designed a shower that recycles dirty water—recirculates and cleans used water.

September 11, 2005

Central American gang known as Mara Salvatrucha XIII meaning “The Salvadoran Gang, Fear Us” has been terrorizing Washington D.C. suburbs raping Latino females and attacking people. Linda Paz, a 17 year old pregnant gal in the area was nearly beheaded after the gang learned she was helping police in a murder investigation. A lot of these members of the gang are illegal immigrants from Central America.

They are suspected of 100’s of murders and 1000’s of assaults. Most of them come from El Salvador. FEMA has designated Operation Blessing as the #2 charity for donations—a charity founded and still chaired by Pat Robertson. At least 42,000 people have volunteered their time at the Astrodome. Mark Sloan is the leader of the efforts to help people evacuate into the Astrodome and the Reliant Center. Hillary Clinton has called for an independent commission to investigate the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

Under FEMA’s direction 32,000 rescues were performed, 182,000 were housed in 559 shelters and 11.3 million meals served. .. 11.8 million liters of water provided. German plane carrying 15 tons of rations for Katrina evacuees was turned back because it did not have prior authorization to land. U.S. says there is a possibility of mad cow disease in some of their rations, but now they have given approval to the Germans for future aid flights, some flights which had previously already landed in the U.S. with supplies.

Many International donors have complained of frustration that bureacratic entanglements have hindered shipments to the U.S. Berlin is also sending teams equipped with high capacity pumps to help clear the flood waters.

Adam Gadahn of Orange County CA taped a message saying that Los Angeles is a potential place for terrorist attacks. Gadahn, a normal teen only a few years ago, began attending an Islamic Mosque where he was recruited by militants and sent to Pakistan for terrorist training.

New Orleans Saints won, winning with a 47 yard field goal in the last 3 seconds, beating Carolina---the Charlotte Panthers. They gave one of the game balls to Mayor Ray Nagin, and the other to the victims. Ivan Lendl was inducted into the US Court of Champions on Sunday before the final between Agassi & Federer. James Taylor sang “America the Beautiful” with his son, Ben. Jimmy Connor, Chris Evert, Billy Jean King, Stefi Graf, Jack Kramer, & John McEnroe, Rod Laver, Bill Tilden, Helen Wils, Margaret Court (?) are the previous inductees into the US Court of Champions.

President back in New Orleans—scheduled to sleep on the USS Iwo Jima, which is serving as the Control Center for the relief efforts.

80 dogs were airlifted out of New Orleans and sent to San Francisco & San Diego courtesy of $50,000 donation by ..Texas Oil Tycoon Boone Pickens & his wife Madeline ina movement dubbed “Operation Pet Lift” .. chartered a plane to fly them out. The Times Picayne of New Orleans is still publishing despite Katrina, publishing outside N.O.

Three-star general Honore—a Coast Guard official overseeing Katrina relief is turning a lot of heads for his command of the situation---he grew up in Louisiana and even spent a couple of weeks in Charity Hospital as a child after getting hit in the head with a baseball bat. He has one son—returning from Iraq after a year in duty—that means a lot. 50% of the corn and 33% of the soybeans exported by the U.S. flows down the Mississippi River.

Although most corporations use nearby Houston as a headquarters rather than New Orleans they still rely on Port Fourchon, about 60 miles south of the City to ferry equipment & workers out to the rigs. Tourism brings 10 billion dollars to New Orleans annually and accounts for about 15% of the city’s jobs. The city’s population has already shrunk about 30% over the past four years.
September 12, 2005

Blackout across LA today. Michael Brown of the FEMA resigned. Roberts nomination hearing continues.. Hurricane Katrina death toll rose 50% in one day.. discovery of 34 dead patients and staff members in St. Regis Nursing home in the town of Chalmette…in the hard hit St. Bernard Parish. Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti charged the husband and wife owner of the home with 34 counts of negligent homicide, for not doing more to save the elderly patients. They had been asked if they wanted to move them but the owners said no, despite repeat warnings. Salvador Mangano and his wife Mabel were released on $50,000 bond each.

United States Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta pronounced Katrina the worst disaster for transportation in U.S. History and estimated the damages to bridges and highway…etc. at The blackout in Los Angeles was the largest for the county since the Northridge earthquake in 1994. Five days after Katrina hit representative William Jefferson , democrat for Louisana who represents New Orleans was allowed through military blockades set up around the city to reach the Superdome.

Jefferson requested a tour of his neighborhood and the area he represents but then he asked them to take him to his house. Jones High School in southeast Houston—fight broke out between evacuees—and some of the regular students. The A’s lost. Angels lost. Chaka Khan’s son—lived in the Westchester area of Los Angeles—is being charged with murder. The Katrina storm caused four sections of the walls that protect New Orleans from flooding to give way. Peter Carkhuff, sales exec. For National Property damage experts in West Berlin New Jersey said “You’re probably talking about bulldozing entire blocks, maybe entire neighborhoods.”

bodies found in a hospital at the 370 bed memorial medical center in New Orleans. Louisina death toll now at 279. 41 of 174 permanent pumps are now in operation. Many parts of the Metropolitan area –water was going down at least a foot per day.

Sheriff’s Deputies found eleven children locked in cages less than 3 ½ feet inside a home—the couple denied that they had abused or neglected the children. Judge put them in foster homes. They were found in 9 cages built into the walls of the house. No blankets or pillows—and the cages were rigged with alarms which sounded if opened,. .. The children said they slept in the cages at night. Derren & Mike Grevelle are adoptive or foster parents for all eleven children. Power outage in L.A. was due to utility workers who mistakenly cut several cables in L.A. 2 million people were affected—some stuck on elevators. .. all power was restored by 3 pm. about 2 1/ 2 hours later.

September 14, 2005

Katrina is placed among the top ten deadliest natural disasters in United States history.. alongside Galveston hurricane of 1900, the Johnstown flood of 1889. Hurricane Andrew killed 26 people. .. Great New England Hurricane of 1938 took 700 lives. San Francisco earthquake also took about 700 deaths, estimate. Georgia/South Carolina hurricane of 1881 took 700 lives, estimated.

Tri-State tornado of 1925 took an estimated 695 lives in Missouri, Illinois, & Indiana. The Galveston hurricane of 1900 claimed about 8000 lives. The Great Okeechobee Hurricane killed about 2500. And the Johnstown Pennsylvania Flood of 1889 killed about 2200. Two hurricanes in 1893—one in Louisiana killed over 2000, and one in South Carolina/Georgia took between 1000-2000 lives, according to Rusty Pfost a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Angels lose. A’s lose. Yankees win. Roberts confirmation continues.

Senator Charles Schumer said to the nominee Roberts that “When you add it all up you are being less forthcoming with this committee than just about any other person who has come before us.” Schumer is a New York Democrat. Roberts said that he thinks the Constitution affords Americans the right to privacy which apparently is the key legal underpinning of the landmark ruling concerning abortion. Delta & Northwest Airlines filed for bankruptcy.

The legal age for marriage in Indiana is 18 for girls and 21 for boys—so a 19 year old girl married her boyfriends older brother temporarily so that she could live in the same house as her boyfriend. ..

September 17, 2005

In Louisiana, they are now allowing business & home owners to return to the Algiers Section, French Quarter & garden District of New Orleans. Vice-president Dick Cheny is having surgery today for an aneurism behind one of the knees.

Republican from Michigan---Peter Hoekstra—is calling on Peter Goss of the CIA to give as much possible information about 911 as possible. Vietnamese man—Asian man. .. in Wisconsin (Hawyard WI), was convicted of 1st degree murder in the shooting of six deer hunters--.. Chai Soua Vang—from Hmong (?) … who came from southeast Asia more than twenty years ago—faces mandatory life in prison after shooting and killing six deer hunters and wounding two others. ..

Vang, age 36, defended himself saying he was shot at and heard racial slurs, but the jury didn’t buy it.

Yahoo says as far back as eight years ago—congress ordered the FEMA to order a plan for evacuation New Orleans during a massive hurricane, but the money instead went to studying the Causeway Bridge which spans the city’s Lake Pontchartrain.

They never used the money for its intended purpose, said former representative Billy Tauzin, R-Louisana—in 1997 Congress set aside $500,000 for FEMA to create a comprehensive analysis and plan of evacuation alternatives for the New Orleans area.. two years later, after nothing happened, Congress strengthened its directive. This time it ordered an evacuation plan for a Category 3 or greater storm, a levee break flood or other natural disaster for the New Orleans area.

The $500,000 that Congress appropriated for this plan went to a Commission that studied future options for the 24 mile bridge over Lake Pontchartrain. I picked up a burrito at the Del Taco—112 pm…cruising through Carson—finally got the answer to why New Orleans cemeteries are unique---most of the bodies are in above-ground tombs—they don’t dig graves there because they are so close to sea level. Contrary to fears---they did not find that many bodies or tombs floating away from the cometary— although they did find one tombstone or casket on or near the train tracks ..questions about what to do with all the debris.

Mariana Cruz, age 32, was getting into her car in a parking lot Thursday , and she released the emergency break –and the car rolled forward—pinning her against the wall---she died at the hospital but not until her baby was delivered by Caesarean section.

And people are defending—saying this older lady did not loot the store—elderly lady in jail for two weeks now—on charges of looting—witnesses in her favor said she did not loot the store—that she had her own food in her car, plus the owner of the store said she didn’t care if she did. But the Judge is holding her on $50,000 bail—100 times the required amount… and the judge won’t respond to phone calls. .they say this lady Maten, 70 years old, is a deaconess at the Resurrection Mission Baptist Church and won an award for her service at a hospital. .. they said she had a refrigerator in her car—with food in it.

Christine Bishop , the owner of the deli—who was allegedly robbed—said she was looted by somebody—but said that she would not want them charged with a crime if they were just trying to survive.

Furthermore, they say she couldn’t have looted this place because she is too old and frail to jump over the counter. .. .. flood waters continue to recede on the city’s hard hit east side revealing a pathetic scene—block after block of once-flooded neighborhoods is covered with a slimy, putrid, muck, and dotted with ruined cars, snapped utility poles, and collapsed houses. 40 to 50 % of the city was still flooded down from 80% after Katrina hit. Is Dick Pound—the guy involved in the Lance Armstrong accusation of doping..—and who is the head of the .. .. WADA—World Anti-Doping Agency.

Mayor Villaraigosa is going to move into the Getty House. .. which has not been used for a mayor’s residence since Tom Bradley. Tanker carrying about 7500 gallons of jet fuel overturned Thursday on the Antelope Valley Freeway near Acton.

September 16, 2005

73 year old woman jailed for looting has been released Merlene Maten has now been released—wanted to visit her 80 year old husband. Grizzly bear attacks two hikers in Yellowstone, Pat Mcdonald age 52 of Bismark ND and Gerald Holzer age 51 of Northfield MN were hiking near Shoshone Lake …the bear swatted at them.. but they had bear repellent which they sprayed in the bear’s face and it ran away.. neither were seriously injured..

Former education official, Matthias Vheru age 55, is accused of using his post to secretly buy almost 46,000 textbooks and teaching aids that he, himself, had written, bringing him nearly 1 million dollars in royalties. He has been sued by the LAUSD----who says that Vheru illegally.. covered more than 3 million of the 4 million dollar cost by using federal education funds that had been earmarked for programs that assist non-native English speakers. They said Vheru skirted the purchase approval process and making the orders when he was temporarily serving as the district’s math curriculum director last year.

Man in the town of Warrnambool , southern state of Victoria in Australia, name of Frank Clewer, was oblivious to the growing electrical current that was building up as his clothes rubbed together. ..the electrical charge ignited the carpet—like a firecracker Clewer told Australian radio Thursday. ..he also scorched a piece of plastic on the floor of his car. Firefighters tested his clothes, and found there was a current of 40,000 volts going through his clothes. David Gosden, a Sr. lecturer in Electrical Engineering at Sydney University told Reuters that for static electricity to ignite the conditions had to be perfect. “Static electricity is a similar mechanism to lightning, where you have clouds rubbing together which are sparked by dry air above them”..

September 17, 2005

Courtney Love is being sued for damages from an assault to which she pled guilty--.. in which she allegedly poured whiskey all over somebody and then threw a candle at her—as well as hit her and pinched her breasts. .. she is now serving time in a drug clinic, rehab.

Son of Governor Jeb Bush was arrested for public intoxication and resisting arrest—John Bush, age21.. their daughter Noelle—was arrested previously for trying to pass a fraudulent subscription to get Xanax at a pharmacy—she completed drug rehab and the charges were dismissed. Governor Election is in November 2006. .. prisoners at the jacksonville Correction center spent four days in lockdown after an assistant Warden lost the keys.

Man thought he might get a Protection Order lifted by secretly videotaping him having sex with the woman he was told to leave alone. Justin W. Fraase, age 26, gave the video to an officer, expecting it to show that the woman did not fear him. Instead, the tape revealed more than enough evidence for his arrest. “I guess he didn’t watch it before he gave it to us” Lieutenant Todd Dahle said. He was charged with sexually assaulting the woman, bail set at $50,000. 822 a.m. at Home Depot.

Teenage Indianapolis gal may be charged with murder today after driving into his ex-boyfriends new girlfriend, Amber Steele, age 17, leaving her in critical condition, with massive head injuries. A foot deep layer of sludge left behind flood waters in New Orleans is riddled with fecal bacteria and other contaminants. Tests by Nova Biologicals in Texas detected elevated levels of cadmium, lead, & mercury, and low levels of petroleum, and an astounding level of bacteria, samples of normal soil generally contain less than 200 unites of fecal bacteria but the sludge contained 310,000 units.. “You’re in a sewage treatment plant, if you’re walking through this” said Dr. Paul Pearce, microbiologist at Nova Biologicals. He said if sludge somehow got into the food chain it could create the potential for bacterial disease—it could create the potential for heavy metal poisoning, said Dr. Jeffrey Brent, a medical toxologist. Bottle-nosed dolphins—washed out of their aquarium tank in Gulfport MISS have been found swimming together in the Gulf of Mexico.

But they are not safe yet because the dolphins are domesticated. Officials fear they cannot survive in the wild. Moby Solangi, owner and director of the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport MISS saved as many of the fourteen dolphins as time allowed., three took up residence at the pool at Gulfport’s Best Western. Three others made the pool at the Holiday Inn. The remaining eight stayed behind at the aquarium’s pool that has survived every previous hurricane. The wave from Katrina swept away all eight dolphins and destroyed the pool. They went looking for them out in the ocean and after only five minutes in the helicopter they spotted them swimming together. Latest government figures found that 75cents of every dollar spent on emergency preparedness goes to anti-terrorism programs.

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