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Published: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 @ 12:21 AM
— Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean begins June 1 and runs until Nov. 30, but officials agree that the best way to avoid catastrophic damage is through to be proactive.
"Advance planning and preparation are essential for protecting property, reducing risk and ultimately saving lives," National Weather Service officials said in the introduction the NWS hurricane guide for the Southeast.
Charley English, former director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security said in a news release from 2014: "Learn your flood risk, create a ready kit for your home and car, and develop an evacuation and family communications plan."
GEMA said in that release that research shows "69 percent of Georgians do not know designated evacuation routes from their community, and 67 percent have not arranged a family meeting place or reconnection plan."
Ready Georgia provides a host of tools and information at its website.
It recommends evacuation when:
• If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
• If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelters are particularly hazardous during a hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
• If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
• If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.
• You should be able to move your valuables within 15 minutes.
Here are more tips to help you prep for the storms, from the NWS guide.
• Elevation matters: Are you in a flood or evacuation zone?
• Mobile homes: Check tie-downs and prepare to evacuate.
• Landscaping: Always trim trees, shrubbery and dead limbs, especially close to your home.
• Roofing: Inspect it for loose tiles, etc., and clear loose or clogged gutters and drainspouts.
• Doors: Reinforce garage doors and tracks or replace with a hurricane-tested door; and reinforce double-entry doors with heavy-duty foot and head bolts. Use security dead bolts with a minimum 1-inch bolt length.
• Windows: If possible, install hurricane shutters. Alternatively, use five-eighths inch (or greater) grade exterior plywood secured by 2 1/2 inch screws and/or special clips.
• Renters need to prepare, too: Review your renter's and flood insurance; prepare to relocate to a lower floor
• For pets: Update their vaccinations and have proof; have a current photo; have properly sized pet carriers; pack enough food and water for the duration of the evacuation; and be sure to have proper ID collars. Read more.
The NWS also recommends preparing emergency evacuation kits for functional and medical needs clients, those clients who either require support to maintain their independence or support of trained medical professionals.
• Contact information, including doctor's contact
Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 8:49 AM
— The United States Postal Service will release a Mister Rogers stamp in 2018, a year that also marks the 50th anniversary of PBS's “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.”
Fred Rogers is among the icons, such as Lena Horne, John Lennon and Sally Ride, whose faces will appear on stamps included in the postal service’s 2018 stamp program.
The USPS described Rogers as “a beloved television neighbor to generations of children” whose television series “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity and honesty.”
A sneak peek of the stamp showed Rogers posing with “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood” character King Friday.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 2:33 PM
PARKLAND, Fla. — Peter Wang died proudly wearing his gray JROTC uniform, holding open doors so several of his classmates could escape the gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week.
Though those classmates made it, Peter did not. And now, a White House petition has been established seeking full military honors at the burial of the 15-year-old freshman who was among 17 people killed in the Valentine’s Day school shooting.
As of Monday morning, the petition had reached just over 23,000 signatures. A petition must reach 100,000 signatures to get a response from the White House.
The petition states that Peter was last seen, in uniform, holding doors open so that other students, teachers and staff members could escape.
“His selfless and heroic actions have led to the survival of dozens in the area,” the petition states. “Wang died a hero, and deserves to be treated as such, and deserves a full honors military burial.”
Friends of the teen said they want people to know how selfless he was, according to WPLG News 10 in Pembroke Park.
“I want people to know that he died a hero; that he died saving many people,” friend and classmate Aiden Ortiz told the news station.
His selflessness extended into his everyday actions, classmate Rachel Kuperman said. She recalled the last time she saw Peter, the day before he was slain.
“I forgot my lunch that day, and he went to the vending machine with me and he bought me Sprite and candy and snacks,” Rachel said. “He put others before himself.”
Fox News reported that it would take government intervention for Peter to receive a military funeral, since JROTC does not provide basic training and thus does not count as military service. JROTC, or the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, is a federal program for middle and high school students that focuses on citizenship, service to the community and country and personal achievement.
Peter was not the only JROTC cadet credited with springing into action that day. Colton Haab, a junior at Stoneman Douglas, heard gunshots and ushered several dozen people into the JROTC room.
There, he and other cadets grabbed Kevlar sheets used for marksmanship practice and held them up in front of the students huddled together.
“We took those sheets and we put them in front of everybody so they weren’t seen, because they were behind a solid object and the Kevlar would slow the bullet down,” Colton told CNN the day after the shooting. “I didn’t think it was going to stop it, but it would definitely slow it down to make it from a catastrophic to a lifesaving thing.”
Peter’s cousin, Aaron Chen, described him to the Miami Herald as brave, while Peter’s best friend, Gabriel Ammirata, said he was “funny, nice and a great friend.”
“He’s been my best friend since third grade,” Gabriel told the Herald.
Gabriel planned to celebrate Chinese New Year with Peter the day after the shooting at the Chinese restaurant Peter’s family owns, the Herald reported. Instead, he and members of Peter’s family started the new day frantically searching for information on Peter’s whereabouts.
The teen’s parents speak Mandarin and very little English.
Jesse Pan, a neighbor of Peter’s, has been sharing information about him and his funeral arrangements on social media. Peter’s family has a funeral planned for Tuesday at Kraeer Funeral Home, in Coral Springs.
An obituary on the funeral home’s website reiterates Peter’s ultimate sacrifice in the face of danger.
“He loved being in the JROTC and planned on attending (the) United States Military Academy at West Point,” the obituary read.
Peter loved the Houston Rockets, hip-hop music, playing basketball and spending time with friends. He also aspired to become a world-renowned chef.
He is survived by his parents and two younger brothers.
A GoFundMe page created to help his family with expenses exceeded its $15,000 goal in just three days.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 2:31 PM
Carlton Nebergall Jr., 61, was arrested early Monday on a first-degree murder charge in the death of Jacob Lodge, 36, who was in divorce proceedings with Nebergall’s daughter, court records show. Nebergall appeared Monday morning with his attorney, Michael Salnick, in front of Judge Ted Booras. Booras recused himself from the case, though, saying, “I’ve known the defendant for too many years.”
Nebergall will remain in the Palm Beach County Jail until at least Wednesday, when another judge can rule on his bond requirements.
Nebergall was taken into custody late Sunday after deputies responded to a home on the far east end of Mellow Court, near the Pond Cypress Natural Area, following a shooting. Authorities found Lodge fatally shot at about 8:30 that night. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Sheriff’s authorities have not commented on what may have motivated the retired deputy to shoot Lodge. Court records indicate Nebergall’s daughter filed for a divorce from Lodge last month.
Lodge’s younger brother, Clint, said Monday that Nebergall’s daughter and Lodge had an “off-and-on, love-hate relationship” for about a decade. They had two boys, ages 9 and 5, according to Clint Lodge. They had been living separately prior to Lodge’s death, his brother said.
He said Lodge and Nebergall had argued before over Nebergall’s daughter. He wasn’t sure what led up to his brother’s killing.
“He was far from perfect, but he didn’t deserve that,” Clint Lodge said about his brother, calling him “one of the best, just somebody you could really look up to.” Records indicate Jacob Lodge was scheduled to be on probation until May 2019 in a theft-related case. He had another open theft case in which he was accused of stealing from his former employer, an air-conditioning company. He pleaded not guilty to those charges.
His in-laws’ law enforcement backgrounds led to conflict about being on “the right side of the law,” Clint Lodge said.
Nebergall worked at the Lantana Police Department from 1981 to 1985, when he joined the sheriff’s office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement records state. He worked at the sheriff’s office until his retirement in 2012.
His son, Jason Nebergall, joined him at the sheriff’s office in 2007, state records show. However, during his nine years on the job, the younger Nebergall was accused of being overly aggressive, pulling a gun on a fellow deputy and engaging in sexual misconduct at a West Palm Beach-area nightclub while on duty and in full uniform.
In December 2016, Jason Nebergall, a U.S. Air Force member, was arrested after a then-26-year-old woman accused him of sexually battering her. He had responded to the woman’s home earlier that night for a disturbance call and returned to “check in” on her, he said. He denied inappropriately touching her, though his DNA was found on her breasts.
He was placed on paid administrative leave when the sheriff’s office was alerted to the allegations in July 2016. It was not immediately known whether he is still on the sheriff’s office’s payroll.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 9:53 AM
WICHITA, Kan. — Police, along with the FBI, are searching for a missing 5-year-old boy in Kansas.
Lucas Hernandez was reported missing Saturday evening. He was last seen at 3 p.m. in his bedroom by his stepmother, after she took a shower and fell asleep, KAKE reported.
Police were called more than 3 hours later, at 6:15 p.m., to alert them he was missing.
As of Sunday, an Amber Alert was not issued because there was no indication that he was abducted, KAKE reported.
A relative of Lucas told KSN, “He’s a bright little boy. He loves school. He loves his dad, his stepmom and his siblings. We just want him home safe, and if you have any information, anything about Lucas, please bring him home safely.”
But a great aunt of Lucas’ said they were worried about him, The Wichita Eagle reported.
Sally Rasmussen told the paper that she called the Kansas Department for Children and Families last year. His great grandmother, Jeannie Houchin, said that she was told that there was an investigation launched by the child protection agency, but the department didn’t confirm the women’s allegations The Eagle reported.
Police searched Lucas’ home and neighborhood using K-9 units, but didn’t find anything. They also went door-to-door asking neighbors if they noticed anything, The Eagle reported.