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State-by-state look at dangers, prep for Irene

Published: Friday, August 26, 2011 @ 5:23 PM
Updated: Friday, August 26, 2011 @ 5:23 PM

Here is a state-by-state glance on how Hurricane Irene is predicted to strike states all along the Eastern Seaboard as of Friday morning:

CONNECTICUT

— Forecasters predict Irene to make landfall on Sunday somewhere between New Jersey and Cape Cod.

— Hurricane warnings have not been issued.

— Mandatory evacuations have not been ordered.

— Last hurricane to hit was Bob in 1991.

DELAWARE

— Hurricane warning statewide

— Flood watch in effect

— Storm center to pass near the New Jersey/Delaware coast around 8 a.m. Sunday.

— Governor orders mandatory evacuation of coastal areas by 9 a.m. Saturday

— Last hurricane to hit was Floyd in 1999.

— State will open shelters in all three counties on Friday.

MAINE

— Forecasters predict Irene to reach northern New England Sunday night.

— Governor has declared an emergency.

— Heavy rain expected to start Saturday night. Potential for flooding rains and gusty winds.

— No evacuations planned since path uncertain.

— Lobstermen began moving their fishing gear farther offshore to avoid damage amid expectations of 30-foot seas.

MARYLAND

— Hurricane warning for St. Mary's County and Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Potomac River.

— Tropical storm warning for Baltimore to Eastern Shore to D.C. suburbs.

— Flash flood watch in Baltimore-Washington metro region and southern Maryland.

— Mandatory evacuations ordered for Ocean City and coastal Worcester County.

— Governor declared emergency.

— Last hurricane to hit was Floyd in 1999.

— Assateague State Park closing until Wednesday; most state park campgrounds closed.

MASSACHUSETTS

— Forecasters predict Irene to make landfall in southern New England on Sunday. They say they are unable to determine where it would hit land first because forecasts show that could be anywhere between New Jersey and Cape Cod.

— Hurricane warnings have not been issued in the state. A hurricane watch is in effect for the coast line to the mouth of the Merrimack River.

— Mandatory evacuations have not been ordered.

— Last hurricane to hit was Bob in 1991.

— Red Cross is pre-positioning emergency response vehicles, mobilizing trained disaster workers and preparing supplies in case they are needed.

— Boston's largest homeless shelter is also beginning to warn people living in the streets about the approaching hurricane. Pine Street Inn is also preparing to open its doors around the clock from Saturday afternoon through Monday, and it is strongly urging the homeless to come in for safety.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

— Forecasters predict Irene to reach northern New England Sunday night.

— Heavy rain expected to start Saturday night. Potential for flooding rains and gusty winds.

— No evacuations planned since path uncertain.

— Governor directed state Emergency Operations Center to be opened.

— The Red Cross plans to open four shelters.

— Organizers of the annual Hampton Beach Talent Competition condensed the three-night schedule to two, telling competitors "it's one song for all the marbles."

NEW JERSEY

— Forecasters predicted storm would pass over, or more likely, near New Jersey by midday Sunday.

— Hurricane warning in effect for coastal and southern counties.

— Mandatory evacuations ordered for nearly 1 million visitors and residents of Cape May County, coastal Atlantic County and Long Beach Island.

— Governor declared emergency for the state.

— New Jersey Transit trains to shut down Saturday.

— Last hurricane to directly hit the state was remnants of Hurricane Floyd, which caused major flooding inland in 1999.

— Atlantic City casinos shutting down for only the third time since gambling was legalized 33 years ago.

NEW YORK

— Forecasters predict Irene to make landfall Sunday as a Category 1 storm between New Jersey and Cape Cod.

— The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane watch and a flood watch for Long Island, New York City and Rockland, Westchester and Putnam counties.

— New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered mandatory evacuations for residents in low-lying coastal areas that are home to 270,000.

— The governor declared a state of emergency and the state's Office of Emergency Management has increased staffing in its underground bunker.

— The governor says New York City's public transit will halt around noon Saturday because of the hurricane.

NORTH CAROLINA

— Forecasters predict Irene to make landfall Saturday morning east of Morehead City. Early storm surge prediction of up to 11 feet in Pamlico Sound and up to 9 feet along Outer Banks.

— Hurricane warning for entire coast.

— Governor and president declared emergency for the state.

— Evacuations ordered for all of the Outer Banks as well as inland Currituck County, Dare County, Hyde County and low-lying areas of Beaufort County. Voluntary evacuation requested for New Hanover County.

— Last hurricane to hit was Isabel in 2003.

— The Red Cross is opening eight shelters for people who need them. Nearly 50 other shelters ready to open as needed.

PENNSYLVANIA

— Hurricane warnings are in effect for Philadelphia and Delaware counties, with tropical storm warnings in effect for three other suburban counties.

— Gov. Tom Corbett has declared state of emergency in advance of expected arrival of wind and rain.

— Although the exact track of the storm is uncertain, tropical storm conditions could begin as early as Saturday afternoon.

— Irene is expected to bring a half-foot or more of rain to already sodden communities. Before storms associated with Irene have arrived Philadelphia has already set an all-time single-month record for rain with more than 13 inches.

— The mayor says mass transit in suburban Philadelphia, will halt at 12:30 a.m. Sunday because of the hurricane.

— Mandatory evacuations have not been ordered.

— Last hurricane to hit was Floyd in 1999.

— Flood and flash flood watches are in effect for nine other counties in eastern Pennsylvania through Sunday.

RHODE ISLAND

— Forecasters predict Irene to make landfall on Sunday. Six-to-10 inches of rain expected to fall beginning as early as Saturday night.

— Gov. Lincoln Chafee has declared a state of emergency.

— Hurricane watch issued Friday for much of the state. Tropical storm watch for portions of two inland counties.

— Mandatory evacuations issued for low-lying communities in Narragansett and South Kingstown by 10 a.m. Sunday.

— Last hurricane to hit was Bob in 1991, which made landfall twice.

SOUTH CAROLINA

— Forecasters predict Irene to be about 140 miles east of Myrtle Beach late Friday night.

— Tropical storm warnings issued from Edisto Island north to North Carolina state line.

— No mandatory evacuations ordered.

— Last hurricane to hit was Charley in 2004.

— Downtown Charleston reported 49 mph wind gust just before noon Friday.

— Wind gusts of up to and as much as of rain expected around Myrtle Beach.

— About 3,500 customers without power along coast late Friday morning as outer bands of storm approach.

VERMONT

— Forecasters predict Irene to reach northern New England Sunday night.

— Heavy rain expected to start Saturday night. Potential for flooding rains and gusty winds.

— No evacuations planned since path uncertain.

— Parts of the state hard-hit by Memorial Day weekend flash flooding were bracing for another round.

VIRGINIA

— Forecasters predict Irene to make landfall at 2 a.m. Sunday.

— Hurricane watch for coast.

— Mandatory evacuations ordered for the Sandbridge section of Virginia Beach, a barrier island dotted with rentals, Accomack on the Eastern Shore, and for low-lying areas of Norfolk and Hampton.

— Governor declared emergency.

— Last hurricane to hit the state was Hurricane Isabel in 2003.

— The cities of Norfolk, Virginia beach and Hampton are opening shelters on Friday.

— The Navy ordered the Second Fleet out to sea to escape the storm.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

— Tropical storm warning

— No mandatory evacuations ordered.

— Last hurricane to hit was Hazel in 1954.

— Approach of hurricane forced postponement of Sunday's dedication of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

— Impending storm prompts Walter Reed Army Medical Center to accelerate transfer of last remaining patients to new facility in Bethesda, Md.

Romney releases tax docs, pays $1.9m last year

Published: Friday, September 21, 2012 @ 2:17 PM
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 @ 2:17 PM

Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, paid $1.94 million in federal taxes on last year's income of $13.7 million, for an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent, his campaign said Friday.

That's slightly above the 13.9 percent rate the couple paid in 2010. Most of the 2011 income was from investments.

Campaign officials said the couple filed the return Friday with the Internal Revenue Service, after receiving an extension. They were to publicly release their full 2011 returns late Friday.

Romney's taxes have emerged as a key issue during the 2012 presidential race with President Barack Obama. Romney released his 2010 tax returns and a 2011 estimate in January, but he has declined to disclose his returns from earlier years.

His vast fortune and his long association with Bain Capital, the private equity firm he cofounded, have been much discussed this year.

His campaign earlier estimated that Romney would pay about $3.2 million in taxes for the year, an estimate well above the $1.9 million actually paid. He paid about $3 million in federal income taxes in 2010 — an effective rate of 13.9 percent.

Critics, including Obama, have urged Romney to release more than just the two years of returns and follow his father's model. When George Romney ran for president, he released 12 years of tax returns.

Mitt Romney's campaign did put out a summary Friday by Brad Malt, the trustee of the couple's blind trust, saying that over the 20-year 1990-2009 period, the Romneys owed both state and federal income taxes and paid federal taxes at an effective annual rate of 20.2 percent

Obama's own tax return for last year showed that he and his wife, Michelle, paid $162,074 in federal taxes on $789,674 in adjusted gross income, an effective tax rate of 20.5 percent. Their income plunged from $1.7 million in 2010, with declining sales of the president's books. In 2009, the Obamas reported income of $5.5 million, fueled by the best-selling books.

The Romneys' exact totals for 2011 were federal taxes of $1,935,708 and on income of $13,696.951.

Aggressive driver caught with ghoulish carpool ‘passenger’

Published: Thursday, January 05, 2012 @ 3:14 PM
Updated: Thursday, January 05, 2012 @ 3:14 PM


            A driver who was stopped on I-5 in Kent in January 2012, had a skeleton strapped into the passenger's seat.
            Washington State Patrol
A driver who was stopped on I-5 in Kent in January 2012, had a skeleton strapped into the passenger's seat.(Washington State Patrol)

A man police say was speeding and driving aggressively was also discovered to be using a plastic skeleton as a passenger while he drove in the carpool lane.

 

 The Washington State Patrol said that on Dec. 20, a trooper pulled over a silver Mazda for driving at 82 mph and making several unsafe lane changes on northbound Interstate 5 near 272nd Street. 

 

When stopped, the trooper said he noticed that what he originally believed was a passenger was actually a seat belted plastic skeleton wearing a sweatshirt.

 

The WSP said one of the lanes that the driver had used as he aggressively worked through traffic was the high occupancy vehicle lane.

 

Police said the driver did not have any comment concerning his “passenger” and received a ticket for speed, unsafe lane change and the HOV violation.

 

The WSP uses marked patrol cars and unmarked or unconventional police vehicles equipped with mobile video cameras to detect and apprehend aggressive drivers.

MythBusters stunt sends cannonball flying through Bay Area home

Published: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 @ 8:15 PM
Updated: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 @ 8:15 PM

A reality television stunt that went awry sent a cannonball careening into a residential Dublin, Calif., neighborhood late Tuesday afternoon, punching holes through the front door and a wall of a home and smashing a minivan's window, but luckily leaving area residents unharmed.

The cannonball was fired as part of an experiement for the Discovery Channel show MythBusters.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Department confirmed that at around 4 p.m. a cannonball was "misfired" from the Alameda County bomb range at Camp Parks and struck a home blocks away on Cassata Place.

"This cannonball was supposed to pass through several barrels of water and a cinder block wall to slow its inertia," said J.D. Nelson of Alameda County Sheriff's Department. "When the shot was fired, it misfired. The cannon lifted."

The cannonball apparently hit something that caused it to shoot over the hillside that protects the neighborhood below.

The projectile bounced in front of the house on Cassata Place, through the front door and up through the second floor before it finally exited through the back wall.

Then it flew over Tassajara Road and ricocheted off the roof of another house before smashing through the window of a minivan where it came to rest.

"I kind of looked inside and seen a big old cannonball. And I had just got out of the van five minutes earlier," said Jasbar Gill, the owner of damaged van. "I'm glad my kids weren't inside the van. So lucky."

The sheriff's office spoke with the Discovery Channel which airs MythBusters.

"They're very sorry that this happened. And they have safety measures that are in place," said Nelson, who works as a consultant for the show, managing the tests run at the county bomb range. "They did have a misfire. And they have insurance for these kinds of things."

Remarkably, no one was hurt in the incident.

In fact, the family whose home sustained the most damage was asleep at the time and didn't realize anything had happened until the dust started to settle.

Nelson said the TV crew responded by sending a senior producer to the home and to the home of the car owner. The producer arranged to meet with their insurance carriers, Nelson said.

Nelson said the television show has used the county's bomb range more than 50 times for experiments and filming.

"We never even had any kind of an incident let alone anything this terrible," Nelson said.

Pratima Dsouza, who lives next door to the house that was hit, said she heard a loud noise and later saw police responding to her neighbor's home but thought there had been some sort of accident inside the house.   

It wasn't until she saw it on the news that she learned what had  happened.   

"Nobody came to our door and told us there was a cannonball that went through our neighbor's house," Dsouza said.

She said the bomb range where the cannonball came from is some distance from her neighborhood.   

"We can hear the sounds but we've never had an experience like that before," she said.

She said a family lives in the home that was struck.   

Another resident, Mark Hawthorne, said the cannonball bounced off of Cassata Place, leaving a dent in the concrete before crashing into his neighbor's house.   

He said neighborhood kids -- including his own -- often play outside in the cul-de-sac around where the cannonball landed.   

"It's a little scary," said Hawthorne, who has watched MythBusters on occasion. "It's easy to laugh at after it's done and no one's hurt."

A look at Joe Paterno's legacy

Published: Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 11:19 AM
Updated: Wednesday, November 09, 2011 @ 11:19 AM


            Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno (left) and Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban greet each other after the game.
            Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE
Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno (left) and Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban greet each other after the game.(Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE)

Joe Paterno's contract was set to expire at the end of the season.   He is a legend in happy valley and the world of college football. 
  •  889 coaches have been hired in division one football since Paterno was hired in 1966.
  • He has 408 wins throughout his tenure, which is the most victories in division one history.  
  • He has two national championships under his belt.  
  • He has more bowl appearances than any other coach, more bowl victories than any other coach. 
  • Paterno has 5 undefeated seasons.