Passengers horrified after blood seeps out of cruise ship elevator

Published: Wednesday, December 30, 2016 @ 1:14 PM
Updated: Wednesday, December 30, 2016 @ 1:55 PM

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The last night of Matt and Susan Davis’ dream family vacation was anything but magical when a horrifying image confronted the couple as they were heading to dinner.

The couple was aboard the Carnival cruise ship Ecstasy when they turned a corner to board an elevator to the 10th floor of the ship.

To their horror, blood was pouring from an elevator and pooling in the carpet in front of the elevator doors.

>>RELATED: Carnival Ecstasy passenger falls from cruise ship

To Matt Davis, it looked like a scene from a horror movie.

“To look and see the elevator with just blood coming down like a sheet, and not stopping was (like) a real life scene of ‘The Shining,’” Matt Davis told Fox 4.

Davis said crew members were hustling passengers away from the scene, and you can hear in the video one of them say, “Please come inside.”

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Forty-five minutes later, a sign went up in front of the covered elevator that read, “Sorry, but I’m not working at the moment.”

Matt Davis speculated about what may have happened.

“A crew member or somebody was inside or behind that wall when the elevator came down, and I don't know what happened, but something terrifying happened,” Davis said.

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A Miami-Dade Police spokesperson confirmed the crew member was 66-year-old Jose Sandoval Opaz, an electrician aboard the ship who was working on the elevator when the deadly incident occurred.

The couple said Carnival offered to pay for counseling sessions for the family.

“I couldn’t wait to get off the ship. I just wanted to get off,” Davis said.

Police: Man crashed car in icy river, left girlfriend to drown

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 10:20 AM

Man Arrested After Allegedly Leaving Girlfriend To Die In Icy River

A New Jersey man has been charged in connection with his girlfriend’s death after police say he left her to drown following a crash in the Delaware River.

Jacob T. Garrett, 24, of Burlington City, is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, causing a death while driving with a suspended license and endangering an injured victim, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. He is being held in the Burlington County Jail. 

Stephanie White, 23, of Burlington City, was killed in the crash.

Burlington City police investigators said that Garrett was speeding around 1 p.m. Sunday when his vehicle struck a parked minivan and went over a river wall into the water. The front end of the car broke through the ice on the surface and the vehicle became submerged.

Bystanders told detectives that they found Garrett standing on the roof of the car, yelling, “Help my girlfriend.” Then he fled the scene on foot.

“He left his girlfriend in the water to die,” Burlington City police Capt. John Fine told NBC New York

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Videos from the scene, including one obtained by NJ.com, show firefighters working to extract White from the car, a Ford Taurus. They had to go in through the rear window of the Taurus, which jutted from the icy surface of the river. 

One video, which can be found here, shows the entire rescue, including the moment when rescuers pulled White’s body from the car. 

First responders found White in the passenger seat, her seat belt still on, prosecutors said in a news release. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. 

A police K-9 officer tracked Garrett from the river to a nearby light rail platform, officials said. Investigators had the train he was on stopped at the next station, where he was taken into custody.

Garrett was soaking wet when he was found, NBC New York reported

White’s friends and family mourned her on social media. Her mother, Ina White, posted a video tribute someone made in her daughter’s memory. 

“Love and miss my daughter. My heart is broken,” White wrote. “Thank you for this tribute. I'll hold it dear to my heart always.”

“I love you, sis, Steph Birdy White. Words can't even explain,” another woman wrote. “You meant everything to me . You had a big heart inside and out. I miss you and you will never be forgotten.” 

GoFundMe page established by White’s aunt to help pay for her funeral expenses described the young woman as “loving, kind, soft spoken, (a) hard worker and loved by all that knew her.”

“She had so much innocence in her presence, and always smiled when she greet(ed) you,” Rosie White wrote about her niece. “Her mother can not financially afford funeral expenses for this, and any amount will help with burial costs.”

Stephanie White’s wishes were to be buried next to her grandmother in Maplewood Cemetery in Freehold, where she grew up.

The case against Garrett remains under investigation, and additional charges may be filed, prosecutors said. 

NJ.com reported that Garrett has two previous criminal convictions, including a 2016 conviction of criminal sexual contact. He also served 93 days in jail, and received two years’ probation, the year before for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. 

Details of those crimes were not immediately available. 

Police use Facebook to help man get off work during icy weather

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:51 PM

Safety Tips for Driving on Icy Roads

Police in Texas used social media to offer a helping hand to a man who was trying to get off work as roads across the region began to ice over earlier this week.

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Police posted a warning on their Facebook page at 6:37 a.m. Tuesday telling citizens that all city offices would be closed. They urged area residents to stay inside and do their best to keep warm.

All City of Seguin offices will be closed today. Yep, the roads are really icy and will only keep getting worse today....

Posted by Seguin Police Department on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

One man needed more help and turned to the Seguin Police Department. Justin Garcia, who is listed on Facebook as a resident of San Marcos, asked police for a note for work.

>> Photos: Snow blankets the South

Deputy Chief Bruce Ure delivered:

“Dear Justin’s Boss,” Ure wrote, “The roads are bad and are going to get worse. Much worse. Please let him stay home, warm and safe and enjoy some Hulu or some cool shows on Netflix. And, he needs a raise. He rocks. Respectfully ~ Deputy Chief Ure.”

Garcia left a comment on the police Facebook page the next day, saying he had gotten the day off. 

Government shutdown: What would close; would you get your Social Security check; what would happen to SNAP, WIC

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:35 PM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

The fight over a border wall, the fate of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients, and the wrangling over the funding of an insurance program for children could force a U.S. government shutdown after midnight on Friday if Congress does not pass legislation that would keep the government up and running.

While negotiations on a temporary spending bill, called a continuing resolution, are ongoing, House Republican leaders said late Wednesday that  they lacked the votes to prevent a shutdown, but that they are pressing members to back Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, (R-Wisconsin), on the  temporary spending bill.

“I think it passes,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker, (R-North Carolina), told reporters on Wednesday. I"I don’t think it’s overwhelming, but I think it passes.”

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What would happen if no bill is passed and the government “shuts down?” Here’s what to expect:

First, a government shutdown doesn’t mean the government completely shuts down. Employees and services deemed “essential” would remain in place. About half of the federal employee workforce, however, could be furloughed – sent home without pay.

Government agencies would shut down because of the lack of a bill that funds services those agencies provide. What Congress will be considering Thursday night and Friday is a continuing resolution, a way to temporarily fund the government.

What is a continuing resolution?
A continuing resolution, or “CR,” is legislation that funds government operations at the current spending level. In normal years, a bill that funds government operations is signed by Oct. 1, which is the end of the fiscal year. That didn’t happen this year.

CRs can fund the government for days, weeks or months. The CR that could be considered Thursday would fund the government through Feb. 16.

Here is a list of services and how they would be affected if a CR is not passed by Friday night:
Air travel
Air travel would not be affected as federal air traffic controllers would remain on the job and Transportation Security Administration screeners would remain in place.
Federal court
For about two weeks, federal courts would continue operating normally. After that time, the judiciary would have to furlough employees not considered essential.
Food safety
The Food and Drug Administration would handle high-risk recalls. Most routine safety inspections would be halted.
Health
Patients in the National Institutes of Health would continue to be treated. New patients would not be accepted until a funding bill is in place.
International travel 
You could still get a passport and visa applications would still be processed by the State Department. Fees collected when someone applies for a visa or a passport fund those services.
Loans 
The Federal Housing Administration, the agency that guarantees about 30 percent of all American home mortgages, wouldn't be able to underwrite or approve any new loans during a shutdown, causing a delay for those using one of those loans to purchase a home. 
The mail
You would still get mail, as the U.S. Postal Service is not funded by taxpayer dollars for everyday operations.
Military
Active-duty military personnel would stay on duty, but their paychecks would be delayed.
National parks
All national parks would be closed, as would the Smithsonian museums. Visitors in overnight campgrounds in national parks would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park.
School lunches, SNAP and WIC
School breakfasts and lunches funded by the federal government would not be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, could be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which used to be called the Food Stamp Program, would continue to be funded and SNAP benefits would continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs would not have the money to operate.
Science
The National Weather Service would keep forecasting weather.
Social Security
Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits would be paid, but new applications for those payments could be delayed. 
Veterans services
Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs would continue.
Sources: The Associated Press; Politicothe Congressional Research Service

  

Trump, GOP leaders take aim at Senate Democrats in government funding fight

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 7:23 AM

The political finger pointing over government spending dramatically accelerated Thursday in Washington, a day before funding runs out for the federal government, as top Republicans joined with President Trump in an effort to blame Democrats for any government shutdown, accusing Democrats of trying to use talks over extra money for the military to win unrelated provisions on immigration.

In swift succession over a half hour period, the President, the Speaker of the House, and the Senate Majority Leader were all on television, pointing the finger straight at Democrats in the Senate.

“If the Senate Democrats want to shut the government down,” Speaker Paul Ryan said at a news conference, “then that would be their choice to make.”

Meanwhile, the President ventured across the Potomac River to the Pentagon, where he said a shutdown would not only harm the military, but Mr. Trump said it was also an effort by Democrats to take away economic momentum from recent tax cuts.

“Democrats would like to blunt that by shutting down government,” the President said, flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P39J12HJ-uY&w=640&h=390]

At the same time on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was criticizing Democrats for trying to force Republicans to accept provisions dealing with immigration and the DACA program.

“Why would they filibuster government funding and shut down vital programs for Americans because we have not yet agreed on the best way to settle an unrelated issue?” McConnell said, making clear he was ready to take a hard line with the other party.

But even as Republicans showed a united front against Democrats on the shutdown, there were questions in GOP ranks about whether the House could pass a temporary funding measure, as a number of House Republicans said they were still ready to vote against that funding bill, not pleased with lack of action on spending by the Congress.

As for Democrats, they laughed at the idea that they were responsible for a possible shutdown, arguing that Republicans have the majority in the House and Senate, and control the White House as well.

“It’s a mess,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, who said the funding debacle was the result of the “incompetence of Republicans.”

Democratic votes would be needed for any budget extension, as 60 votes are required to get around any filibuster.

If no deal is worked out by Friday night at midnight, then some government services would start to close.

The last federal government shutdown was in October 2013. That lasted 16 days.