The Latest: Winter storm halts all flights in Dublin

Published: Thursday, March 01, 2018 @ 6:48 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 01, 2018 @ 6:46 AM

            An ice climber on the downfall at Kinder Downfall, High Peak in Derbyshire, north England, Thursday March 1, 2018. Persistent snow and freezing conditions are causing delays in many parts of Britain, with roads and train service hit particularly hard. Emergency officials said many drivers had to be rescued from stranded vehicles. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)
An ice climber on the downfall at Kinder Downfall, High Peak in Derbyshire, north England, Thursday March 1, 2018. Persistent snow and freezing conditions are causing delays in many parts of Britain, with roads and train service hit particularly hard. Emergency officials said many drivers had to be rescued from stranded vehicles. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

The Latest on the wintry weather hitting Europe (all times local):

4:05 p.m.

Winter weather is halting all flights in and out of Dublin Airport, with authorities saying they are unlikely to resume until Saturday.

The airport says Aer Lingus, Ryanair and other carriers are suspending operations Thursday afternoon as Ireland braces for a fierce storm. It says airlines "are likely to resume operations on Saturday morning."

Irish Rail also says no trains are likely to run until Saturday.

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has urged people to get home by 4 p.m. Thursday and stay home until the storm has passed. He says the forecast predicts blizzards, 100 kph (60 mph) winds, zero visibility and deep pockets of snow.

Varadkar says "the risk to life and limb presented by severe weather conditions should not be underestimated."


3:50 p.m.

The World Health Organization says the cold weather hitting Europe poses health risks, particularly to people in vulnerable situations.

The agency's European head, Zsuzsanna Jakab, says the cold, even when not at its peak, "can be harmful to people's health in many ways."

Jakab says it "can aggravate existing conditions and raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes."

She said that "frequently, poor households are the hardest hit" because low income people "can least afford to adequately heat their homes. Homeless people, and refugees and migrants can be especially vulnerable. Their risk increases if they lack proper clothing, food and medical care."


2:35 p.m.

Officials say Geneva's airport has reopened after teams scrambled to de-ice planes, tarmacs and other facilities that had led to a several-hour shutdown following sudden snowfall overnight.

The officials warned of continued delays, however, after 13 centimeters (about 5 inches) of snow landed in the early morning hours, and advised passengers to check with their airlines.

Geneva airport director Andre Schneider pointed to a combination of a string of very-cold days that hardened the ground and a slight melting of the snow, which then froze and iced up airport facilities, runways and tarmacs.

He said the real problem was a lack of friction on the ground to allow planes to move around, land or take off.

"When there is ice underneath, we actually need to get rid of the ice," he said.

"That's actually quite complicated, because we can either use special equipment which blows hot air on it, or use chemicals. But it's not as quick as just pushing off the snow."


2:10 p.m.

Macedonia's government has urged employers to exempt pregnant women and people aged over 60 from work for a day due to the freezing conditions.

The lowest temperature in Macedonia on Thursday was minus 18 Celsius (-0.4 Fahrenheit) recorded near the border with Bulgaria.

A government agency also issued a recommendation for construction companies to reduce working hours, secure heated areas for outdoor workers and allow them half-hour breaks every two hours.

No deaths have been reported so far in Macedonia due to the cold.

The national meteorological agency said the cold is expected to ease during the weekend.


2 p.m.

A woman, who had left her home at a Swedish asylum center with her daughter and son, aged 8 and 9, respectively, has been pronounced dead after being found in a southern Sweden forest.

The Aftonbladet daily newspaper said the woman who died Thursday in hospital was "poorly dressed" and that her daughter was in intensive care but not in a life-threatening condition.

The son was found safe and sound Wednesday afternoon.

Temperatures in the region were about -10 degrees Celsius (14 Fahrenheit).

Aftonbladet said a helicopter search had been called off Wednesday because of poor visibility.


12:40 p.m.

Danish police say that an 84-year-old woman with dementia has become the second person to die in Denmark because of the cold weather.

Police say she left her home Wednesday evening and was found Thursday in a park in Roskilde, west of Copenhagen. The woman wasn't identified in line with Danish practice.

Southern Denmark has been hit by heavy snowfall and local police have urged motorists not to use their cars.

In neighboring Sweden, the Transport Administration said people should think twice before taking their cars in areas affected by heavy snowfall and snowdrifts, adding "it is difficult to predict which areas will get the most snow."

Sweden's emergency service said it had received about 550 calls regarding minor road crashes as of Thursday morning in the past three days, twice as much as for an ordinary winter day.


11:45 a.m.

Braving an Arctic blast sweeping across Europe, about two dozen officials from the Paris region have spent a frigid night outdoors to call attention to the plight of the homeless.

Snow began falling before they closed their eyes early Thursday near the Austerlitz train station. The city was blanketed in white by daybreak.

Dragging blankets and sleeping bags, numerous officials, from an array of political parties, wore their blue, white and red sashes, France's national colors, denoting their status.

At least 13 homeless have died in the Paris region since Jan. 1.

Mama Sy, deputy mayor of Etampes, south of Paris, and organizer, said that "it's out of the question" that the 6,000 places opened for the homeless because of frigid weather disappear when temperatures rise.

--This item has been corrected to show that the deputy mayor's surname is Sy, not Si.


11:15 a.m.

Roads and airports across large chunks of Britain are closed as snow and wind wreak havoc with travel plans.

Hundreds of drivers were trapped in their cars overnight in Scotland, where authorities said everyone except emergency-services workers should stay off the roads. The snow shut Glasgow and Edinburgh airports, and there are cancellations at Heathrow and other airports in England.

Police in the county of Lincolnshire in eastern England say most roads there are impassable, with as much as 2 feet (60 centimeters) of snow in rural areas.

Several people have died across Europe as the continent endures unusually cold late-winter weather. The fatalities include a man in his 60s who was pronounced dead after being pulled from a frozen lake in London on Wednesday, the ambulance service said.

Forecasters say a new storm is due to bring blizzards, freezing rain and thunderstorms to Ireland, southwestern England and Wales on Thursday.


10 a.m.

Unusual snow in parts of France has disrupted flights, stranded drivers on highways and caused school closures.

The state meteorological agency put about half the country on alert Thursday for dangerous levels of snow, ice, floods or strong winds.

Snow blanketed Paris and the surrounding region, and authorities urged Paris commuters to leave their cars at home because of dangerous conditions.

The snowfall stretched across a swath of northern France and also reached as far south as Montpellier near the Mediterranean. Airports in Montpellier and the Atlantic beach resort of Biarritz were among those seeing disruptions because of the snow.

Television broadcast images of people trapped in their cars on snow-covered highways in the area, where snow is extremely rare.


8:55 a.m.

Geneva's airport has been closed "until further notice" after the Swiss city was blanketed by snowfall overnight.

The airport's website says passengers should stay away for the time being and recommends they check with their airlines to see if their flights are still scheduled for departure.

Airport spokesman Sebastien Leprat said initial targets to re-open around 9 a.m. (0800GMT) had been pushed back by one hour, and that no formal decision had been made to resume traffic.

He said tricky weather conditions across Europe could cause extended delays.

Meteorologist Dominique Stussi of national weather service MeteoSuisse said 13 centimeters (about 5 inches) fell over a three-hour period in the early morning.

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Johnsonville recalls 109K pounds of sausage after reports of plastic contamination

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 2:32 PM

Johnsonville has recalled some of its smoked sausage products after reports of plastic contamination.
Johnsonville has recalled some of its smoked sausage products after reports of plastic contamination.(USDA)

A recall has been issued for a popular brand of sausage due to consumer reports that plastic pieces were found in the product.

Johnsonville, LLC issued a recall Thursday for 109,603 pounds of its smoked pork sausage, according to the United States Department of Agriculture news release.

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The fully-cooked Jalapeño Cheddar Smoked Sausage included in the recall was produced on Jan. 4, 2018, and bears an establishment number “EST. 34224” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The recalled items were shipped to retail locations nationwide.

Johnsonville, LLC received three consumer complaints that pieces of hard, green plastic were found in the sausage product.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products, according to the USDA.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. The products should be discarded or returned to the place of purchase.

Consumers with questions about the recall can call or text Johnsonville Consumer Relations at 1-888-556-2728. 

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St. Patrick’s Day: Don’t drink and drive. Uber, AAA offer special deals

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 1:55 PM


Thousands of Ohioans will head to their favorites pubs this weekend in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, but officials have a warning for residents: “Don’t drink and drive.”

From 2012 to 2016, 269 people were killed in drunk driving crashes during this holiday period, accounting for 38 percent of all crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Between midnight and 5:59 a.m., nearly 69 percent of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers.

“I am pleading with everyone to make the safe choice of designating a driver if they plan to drink alcohol around St. Paddy’s Day,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. “I hope the day is fun and exciting, and also safe for people all around the country.”

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People are more aware of the dangers of getting behind the wheel after drinking, and thanks to increased education and enforcement, roads are safer for everyone, according to Uber. However, each day almost 29 people in the U.S. die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes. That’s one person every 50 minutes in 2016, according to the high administration.

Uber and AAA are offering special deals in some cities so that party goers don’t get behind the wheel after drinking.

Many AAA clubs offer safe ride services for members and non-members. If you need a safe ride home, call (800) AAA-HELP or (800) 222-4357. ArriveSafe Program begins Friday, March 16, at 6 p.m. and ends Sunday, March 18 at 6 a.m. for Montgomery County residents only. AAA has no call center involvement. Local motorists must dial 937-449-9999.

Uber is also offering free and discounted rides in some cities, so check your app to if any discount codes apply.


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Jewelry store company expects to close 200 stores

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 11:44 AM


Signet Jewelers, parent of Zales, Kay Jewelers, Jared and other jewelry brands, expects to close more than 200 stores by the end of fiscal 2019.

Signet will undertake a real estate review as part of a new three-year strategy plan to drive change and profitability within the company. The plan will save $85 million — $100 million is fiscal 2019, with more cost reductions of $115 million to $125 million by the end of the three-year program.

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The company has seen store sales drop in recent years. Sterling Jewelers’ same store sales decreased 8.6 percent, mostly in sales of bridal merchandise. Zale Jewelry’s same store sales increased 4.3%, driven by the new Enchanted Disney collection.

Specific store locations have not been identified.

Signet isn’t the only jewelry company to close stores. Osterman Jewelers closed its location at the Mall at Fairfield Commons and locally owned Webers Jewelers closed its location in Kettering in 2016.


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Lima mulch company building Moraine location

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 11:05 AM

A well-mulched garden.
A well-mulched garden.

A Lima, Ohio-based mulch company is building a retail and distribution site in Moraine.

Wright Mulch has already laid the foundation for its new building just east of Dryden Road, near Heidelberg Distributing’s Moraine distribution center and south of the DMAX truck engine plant.

MORESpeedway parent CEO makes 935 times as much as his employees. 

Mike Davis, Moraine economic development director, said the site will be relatively small to begin — about 1,500 square feet with about only five employees. But there will be room to grow, he believes.

Motorists on Dryden can already see bins for mulch at the location. The site once was home to a Delphi auto parts plant, long demolished, but a two-million-square-foot ground pad remains, Davis said.

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Davis expects retail and distribution operations at the location.

Wright Consolidated Inc. controls several companies from a Lima, Ohio headquarters, including Wright Mulch, Wright Logistics, Wright Warehousing, Wright Refuse and Wright Pallet.

A message was left with Aaron Wright, Wright Consolidated president.

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