Forecasters say that Hurricane Bill, the first hurricane of the 2009 Atlantic season, could develop into a monster over the next 48 hours. CNN weather watchers say that Bill will either miss or barely nip western Bermuda as it veers toward the northeastern seaboard. By Wednesday, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center, the storm could be churning wind and water at more than 110 miles per hour, which qualifies it as a major hurricane.
Archive for "storm"
National News: Jurors In Accused Courthouse Murderer’s Trial To Be Named Today; Nagin Wants To Know How His Residents Were TreatedSeptember 17th, 2008
Jurors in accused mass murderer’s trial to be named today. In an Atlanta courtroom today, 12 jurors and six alternates will learn whether they are the ones who will decide the fate of Brian Nichols, the 36-year-old accused of shooting to death his judge, a court reporter and two law-enforcement officials during a daring escape three years ago from the Fulton County Courthouse. When – and if – the trial begins on Monday, as planned, it will begin a long-awaited march toward justice that has been stymied by a series of delays. In addition to the change in judges – from Superior Court Judge Hilton Fuller to Judge James Bodiford – defense attorneys convinced the original judge that the state had kicked in far too little for a case of this magnitude, compelling him to shelve the case until it had infused more money into the public defender system. The case is expected to be the most costly in Georgia history. Already, the defense has spent an astronomical $1.2 million, and it’s still nearly a week before trial. In a recent chapter in the case, Bodiford found that Nichols’ alleged confession was not the result of his deteriorated mental capacity following his arrest. The defense is arguing that Nichols is innocent by reason of insanity. Nichols is facing death if convicted.
Nagin wants to know how his residents were treated. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin wants to know how his city’s residents were treated during the latest monster storm, Hurricane Gustav, to rock the Big Easy. As reports have surfaced that some city agencies didn’t learn from dealing with killer Katrina, Nagin has instituted a special phone hotline to gather and grade information on victims’ experiences. “If you evacuated with the city assisted-program, and if you went to a shelter where you want to report something, call our 3-1-1 number,” Nagin said in a news conference. His request came amid widespread reports of unsanitary or inhospitable conditions, mostly at shelters in northern Louisiana, according to The New Orleans Times-Picayune. But many shelter volunteers complained that evacuees threatened them “or acted in an unruly fashion during their stay,” the newspaper reported. The Times-Picayune also speculated that poor conditions at the Department of Social Services shelters could have been what led to the sudden resignation of DSS Secretary Ann Williamson earlier this week. While the city helped transport 18,000 residents out of town, all New Orleanians had the option of staying at DSS shelters.
National News: Hurricane Katrina Remembered; Atlanta Police Are Thankful For Saggy Pants … This Time; Obama Bills Are ‘Racist,’ Some SayAugust 29th, 2008
Hurricane Katrina: three years later. As New Orleans braces for another potentially destructive storm, we look back to the impact and the progress made in the last three years after Hurricane Katrina here.
BET News Quiz: An HBCU gets millions; McCain gets a surprise endorsement; and Yung Berg was allegedly jumped. Test your knowledge here!
Police are thankful for saggy pants … this time. Instead of enforcing laws against saggy pants, police departments around the country might want to start issuing pairs of the below-the-butt slacks to hoodlums. In Atlanta Wednesday, police shot and wounded a fleeing 21-year-old suspect as he allegedly turned toward officers and aimed his gun but stumbled while struggling to keep his pants up. Police said that Emmanuel Uzowihe was sprinting down one of Atlanta’s busiest streets when he was felled by officers, stopping traffic. His injuries were not life-threatening, and he was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Officers with the department’s Auto Theft Task Force pulled over Uzowihe for an undisclosed traffic violation, Sgt. Lisa Keyes told the Constitution-Journal. Uzowihe jumped from the car and ran down the sidewalk, she said. Police pursued, ordering the suspect several times to stop, she said. A witness, Trevious Grier, said she saw Uzowihe’s weapon as he ran past. “He had a long black handgun he was holding in front of him,” Grier said. “I’ve never seen a gun that big before.” But as soon as he pointed the weapon, an officer shot him twice, police said. But according to witness Darrell Jackson, Uzowihe’s baggy pants is what landed him in the hospital. “He was running pretty fast,” Jackson said. “The only thing that messed him up is he was trying to pull his pants up.” Kelly agreed, saying, “I bet he won’t wear baggy paints again.”
Obama bills are “racist,” some say. A Republican Party leader in Washington state apologized Thursday for phony $3 bill with a picture of Sen. Barack Obama wearing Muslim headgear and sporting a camel that was sold at a booth at a county fair. “I want to apologize to anyone upset or offended by seeing it,” Snohomish County Republican Party Chairwoman Geri Modrell told The Herald newspaper. Underneath the likeness of a smiling Obama is the tag “Da Man,” and there are signatures from purportedly from “Teddy Kennedy, Chief Socialism Advisor” and “Al Sharpton, New Spiritual Advisor.” Modrell said that she asked volunteers to remove them when she discovered them on Tuesday. Some visitors to the fair called the bills “racist” and “offensive.”
As it batters Jamaica, Haiti’s death toll from the storm passes 50.
Tropical Storm Gustav batters the Caribbean. Tropical Storm Gustav slammed the island nation of Jamaica Thursday and ripped through its Caribbean cousin, Haiti, claiming more than 50 lives in its wake, reports CNN. The storm, whose intensity in Jamaica came just short of hurricane strength, was 15 miles away from Kingston (although residents report suffering little physical damage from the storm). Before it hit, Jamaican authorities evacuated residents in low-lying areas, said a spokesman for the military. But Gustav was a full-fledged hurricane when it hit Haiti Tuesday. Haitian officials announced Thursday that the country’s death toll rose from 14 people to 51. Six children are among the dead, according to the government, and 6,500 residents are living in shelters. The storm lost its strength over Jamaica, but it could pick up strength and become a hurricane by today, according to the National Hurricane Center. Forecasters say the storm could dump 2 to 4 inches over Cuba and 6 to 12 inches over Jamaica. The Hurricane Center’s projection models illustrate the storm could hit Louisiana by Sunday afternoon, almost three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the region. The National Guard is sending 3,000 members there to get ready for the storm.
Co-ed schools banned in part of Nigeria. A Nigerian state has decided to get rid of co-ed schools, citing teen pregnancy and low-academic achievement as reasons, reports the BBC. The ban, which would affect all junior and senior schools, was passed last week by lawmakers in the country’s Bauchi State. Private schools are not affected. Teens have a hard time controlling sexual urges, said Aminu Tukur a Bauchi lawmaker in favor of the ban. Bauchi is governed by the Islamic Sharia law (under the frame of this system, courts recently ruled a Nigerian man with 86 wives had to choose only four and repent, or face death). Christians, a minority in the state, are against the ban, saying teens are able to meet up at other places too, not just schools. No word yet on when the co-ed schools will have to turn single sex. Students will head back to school next week
World Lens – Storm batters the Dominican Republic; Usain Bolt sprints to gold; Cubans celebrate Castro’s birthday. See the pics at World Lens.
Gov. Crist says that what happened in New Orleans won’t happen in his state.
Residents and vacationers in the Florida Keys are bracing for a powerful storm brewing in the Atlantic that could swell to hurricane strength and pummel the string of tiny islands and Cuba before it’s through. As Tropical Storm Fay began picking up some serious steam early Sunday morning, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) urged folks to pack up and head out. But he assured the world that what happened in the Gulf Coast three years ago would not occur in Florida, saying that emergency workers, including 9,000 National Guard troops, are on standby. In 2005, the Gulf Coast was completely unprepared for hurricane Katrina as it tore the region taking lives and destroying homes and property. Officials at Miami’s National Hurricane Center say that by late Monday or early Tuesday, the storm’s winds and pelting rain could wreak havoc. “My main message today is to remind our fellow Floridians to remain calm,” Crist said Sunday afternoon at state emergency headquarters in Tallahassee. “Florida is prepared. And we are ready. And we’ll be vigilant,” he said.