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Walmart responds after video shows carts of food thrown out after tornado

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 12:43 PM
Updated: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 8:29 AM

Viral Video Shows Carts of Food Being Thrown Away After Tornado, Walmart Responds

Walmart responded Monday after a man accused the chain of wasting cartloads of food in a video that went viral on Facebook.

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Gary Joe Ahrns posted a video on Facebook last week showing dozens of shopping carts filled with deli meat, milk, butter, cakes and other foods sitting outside a Walmart in Celina, Ohio.

“They don’t let employees have it,” Ahrns says in the video. “They won’t sell it to anybody else. They’re throwing it away.”

(Warning: The below video contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. Discretion is advised.)

Posted by Gary Joe Ahrns on Monday, November 6, 2017

“People starving to death in the world… and they’re going to throw it all away,” Ahrns says in the video. “Good old U.S. of A, we’ve got so much stuff we can throw it away. … This is wrong, and you all know that this is wrong. This is terrible.”

The video was taken on Nov. 6, one day after a tornado knocked out power to the area for hours.

Walmart officials said in a post on the store’s Facebook page that the food wasn’t safe to eat, despite the fact that none of the foods had reached their expiration dates.

“The food being disposed of was unsafe for consumption after the store lost power for 14 hours,” officials said. “Per internal and health department policies, we followed proper procedures by disposing of the food.”

We have fielded a number of calls regarding a video circulating on Facebook showing our associates throwing out food,...

Posted by Walmart Celina on Monday, November 13, 2017

Eight people were injured when a pair of EF-2 tornadoes swept through Celina on Nov. 5, prompting the city’s mayor to declare a state of emergency, according to WHIO.

The storm caused heavy damage to buildings in the area.

“I’ve seen a lot of hard hit areas with storms, even as far as having relatives down in the hurricanes,” Mayor Jeffrey Hazel told WHIO. “I can say this is pretty tremendous damage in this area.”

Celina is about 120 miles north of Cincinnati.

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Puerto Rico still needs help: List of volunteer opportunities, charities

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 1:06 PM

Puerto Rico Death Toll Nearly 5,000 High Post-Maria, Study Says

Hurricane Maria, the Category 4 storm that devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017, is estimated to have resulted in up to 5,000 fatalities in its aftermath.

Maria caused the longest blackout in U.S. history, leaving the entire island of 3.3 million people, including those in hospitals and nursing homes who relied on respirators, without power. 

>> Read more trending news 

"Indirect deaths resulting from worsening of chronic conditions or from delayed medical treatments may not be captured on death certificates," Harvard University researchers said in a May 2018 study, which contended that the official government death toll of 64 is a "substantial underestimate."

Related: Study: Puerto Rico death toll 4,600 higher post-Maria

According to the study, this makes Hurricane Maria more than twice as deadly as Hurricane Katrina. 

Following the Harvard report, more than 400 pairs of empty shoes were placed outside the capital building in San Juan, part of a growing memorial to the hundreds of people presumed dead during or in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. 

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello told CNN there would be “hell to pay” if officials do not release the updated death toll.

Related: Puerto Rico’s empty shoes: Public demands transparency in Hurricane Maria death toll

The Category 5 storm hit the U.S. Virgin Islands in mid-September and eventually downgraded to a Category 4, but not before it plowed through Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, flooded the streets, collapsed homes and left the entire territory without power.

Though it’s been several months since the disaster, the U.S. territory could still use your help. Here are some ways to give assistance to Puerto Rico.

Related: Volunteer trip to Puerto Rico reveals an island still recovering from Hurricane Maria

Support Puerto Rico tourism

Tourism makes up 10 percent of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product. While many resorts and attractions are still struggling to reopen their doors to tourists, about 80 percent of Puerto Rico’s hotels and restaurants officially began serving customers again in April. Many resorts, including the Dorado Beach Resort, which is a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort are set to open in October.

Tourists walk along San Sebastian street on April 18, 2018 in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico as a major failure knocked out the electricity in Puerto Rico that day, leaving the entire island without power nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria destroyed the electrical grid. It could take up to 36 hours to restore electricity to nearly 1.5 million affected customers. Tourism is one way to support Puerto Rico as it continues to recover from Maria. (Photo by Jose Jimenez/Getty Images)(Jose Jimenez/Getty Images)

"Tourism dollars means that more than 50,000 people will keep their jobs and businesses will keep running," New York Magazine reported.

Airbnb announced in May that, for the next three months, it will be donating any fees from booked trips to recovery organizations, such as All Hands Volunteers.

And while you’re in Puerto Rico, be sure to visit the farmers markets, which have suffered from buyer loss due to post-hurricane island flight.

Related: Hurricane season is officially here. How much damage will 2018 bring?

Your Puerto Rican adventures can do some good, too.

"Rappelling down San Cristobal Canyon supports conservation efforts in the area, a snorkeling trip to a coral reef or mangrove forest might include collecting data on local flora and fauna, and nighttime kayaking to the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay helps fund initiatives to reduce light pollution," Travel and Leisure reported, adding that most tours are under $15 and can be booked online.

You can also plant trees while in the area by signing up with Para La Naturaleza in Cabo Rojo or Barranquitas, or help clean up the coast and help the ecosystems in Manatí.

Related: FEMA tells Southeast to prepare for 2018 hurricane season

The official Islands of Puerto Rico website says, "Thank you in advance for your interest in visiting Puerto Rico and supporting our recovery by simply vacationing on the island."

Donate money

You can donate funds to a variety of nonprofits and aid organizations working to help Puerto Rico recover. Here are some reputable sites to consider giving monetary donations to:

  • Google.org: Google has committed to matching up to $2 million in donations made between June 8-20 in this campaign heralded by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Your full donation goes directly to one of the charities listed on the official website. Many on the list are also mentioned below.
  • Save the Children: Emergency relief and help for children directly affected by the hurricane.
  • Mercy Corps: Long-term local solutions.
  • Heart to Heart International: Medical care.
  • Hispanic Federation: Provides grants to support more than 70 aid/recovery nonprofits in Puerto Rico.
  • Project HOPE: Medical care.
  • Water Mission: Safe and clean water system restoration.
  • Direct Relief: Health care safety net.
  • First Book: Books and educational resources for children affected.
  • Global Giving: Emergency supplies plus long-term recovery assistance.
  • Habitat for Humanity: Rebuilding and repair.
  • Mission 500: Security company working to serve communities in crisis; holding service trip in the fall.
  • UNICEF: Emergency relief and help for children affected.
  • Amigos de Los Animales: Animal rescue.
  • All Hands: Structural recovery.

Charity Navigator can be used to learn more about the organizations before donating. Note that sending money via text message may seem convenient, but according to The Associated Press, that’s not the case. Charities often have to wait on phone companies to release the money.

Related: How dangerous is a hurricane? Understanding hurricane categories

Volunteer
  • Connect Relief: Food distribution and home reconstruction.
  • Join Mission 500: Security industry professionals interested in assisting families during a service trip from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.
  • All Hands: Gutting, mucking, debris removal, mold sanitations, cement roofing via computer-generated imagery. Two-week volunteer commitments in Barranquitas and Yabucoa available.
  • Para La Naturaleza: Cleaning and taking care of ecological gardens; helping endangered species.
  • Visit Rico: Farming, agriculture experts .
  • Amigos de los Animales: Help local animal shelters find homes for abandoned cats and dogs. Volunteers can also help clean shelters and photograph animals for the organization’s website.
  • Instituto Nueva Escuela: Help paint schools, repair playgrounds and mentor children affected by school closings and budget cuts post-Maria.
  • Americas for Conservation and the Arts: Social media experts, digital and web-proficient workers to help with volunteer coordination.
  • Chef José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen: Help cook and package fresh meals from one of the #ChefsForPuertoRico kitchens to deliver to the territory’s recovering communities.
  • Explora PR: Adventure travel company with internship and volunteer opportunities geared toward outreach, summer camps, camps for children with autism spectrum disorder and more.
  • Vamonos: Student-focused tour operator with volunteer opportunities related to service in orphanages, foster homes, soup kitchens, construction, environment, schools and more.

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Immigration: Trump administration defends 'zero tolerance' policy (live updates)

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:46 PM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:46 PM

A Look At Donald Trump's Presidency

White House officials pushed back Monday against critics of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The policy has led to the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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Update 12:46 p.m. EDT June 18: President Donald Trump again accused Democrats of obstructing efforts to deal with illegal immigration and the separation of children and parents at the border, telling reporters Monday that “we’re stuck with these horrible laws” because Democrats refuse to sit down with Republicans.

There are no laws mandating the separation of children and parents at the border.

“We have the worst immigration laws in the entire world,” Trump said. “Nobody has such sad, such bad – and in many cases, such horrible and tough – you see about child separation. You see what’s going on there.”

“The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” Trump said.

Update 12 p.m. EDT June 18: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said authorities don’t want to separate children from their families but that officials have a duty to prosecute people who illegally cross the border.

“When we ignore our laws at the border we obviously encourage hundreds of thousands of people a year to likewise ignore our laws and illegally enter our country, creating an enormous burden on our law enforcement, our schools, our hospitals and (our) social programs,” Sessions said Monday during the National Sheriffs’ Association Annual Conference in New Orleans.

He framed the issue as a debate over “whether we want to be a country of laws or whether we want to be a country without borders.”

“President Trump has said this cannot continue,” Sessions said. “We do not want to separate parents from their children. If we build the wall, if we pass legislation to end the lawlessness, we won’t face these terrible choices. We will have a system where those who need to apply for asylum can do so and those who want to come to this country will apply legally.”

Sessions’ arguments echoed those of President Donald Trump, who has blamed Democrats for passing laws that he said led to the separations.

There are no laws mandating the separation of children and parents at the border.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said earlier Monday that officials will not apologize for enforcing immigration laws.

"We have to do our job," she said.

Original report: President Donald Trump defended his administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy on Monday, writing in a series of tweets that children are being used “by the worst criminals on earth” to get into America as critics slammed the policy for separating children from their parents.

“Children are being used by some of the worst criminals on earth as a means to enter our country,” Trump wrote. “Has anyone been looking at the Crime taking place south of the border. It is historic, with some countries the most dangerous places in the world. Not going to happen in the U.S.”

 

The president pointed to a rise in crime in Germany as an example of the chaos caused by illegal immigration, writing in a tweet that it was a “big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture.”

   

However, Germany’s internal ministry reported last month that criminal offenses in the country were at their lowest since 1992, according to Reuters.

This spring, the Trump administration ordered prosecutors to charge every person illegally crossing the border. Children traveling with the adults have been separated and placed in detention centers, prompting protests nationwide.

The president has blamed Democrats for not fixing the law that allows for the separations.

“Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration,” the president wrote. “Change the laws!”

     

Despite his claim that Democrats are at fault for the situation, The Associated Press reported that the Trump administration “put the policy in place and could easily end it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Child knocks over glass sculpture, parents may be on the hook for $132,000 bill 

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 8:20 AM

Kansas Family May Have To Pay $132K Bill After Child Breaks Glass Sculpture

A child’s accident that broke a piece of art may cost a family in Kansas City $132,000.

Sarah Goodman and her husband and child were at a wedding reception at Overland Park’s Tomahawk Ridge Community Center. Sarah told the Kansas City Star her family was getting ready to leave and was saying goodbye to the bride’s father and they heard a noise on May 19. 

When they went to investigate, a glass sculpture was on the ground.

Goodman told The Star, “He probably hugged it. Maybe my son hugged a torso because he’s a loving, sweet nice boy who just graduated from preschool.”

The parents may be paying the bill for that hug. Goodman said she received a letter from Travelers insurance that stated:

“This loss occurred when your son was in a closed area of the property and toppled a glass sculpture. Under common law in Kansas, you are responsible for the supervision of a minor child and your failure to monitor them during this loss could be considered negligent,” The Star reported.

In surveillance video however, people are seen in the same room where the sculpture was located.

The letter then asked the Goodmans for their insurance information.

Goodman says that while she is working with her home owners insurance company, KSHB reported, she shouldn’t have to pay the bill because the sculpture was not marked do not touch. It was also not roped off from visitors or secured in her opinion.

“It’s in the main walkway. Not a separate room. No Plexiglass. Not protected. Not held down,” Goodman told KSHB. “There was no border around it. There wasn’t even a sign around it that said, ‘Do not touch.’”

A spokesperson for Overland Park says that the sculpture was on loan and that the city is responsible to protect it, but added that it was not to be touched.

“There’s a societal responsibility that you may not interact with it if it’s not designated for interaction,” Sean Reilly told KSHB.

Goodman said she has not figured out how she will pay the value of the glass sculpture and she’s upset that no one from the city has shown concern for her son after the accident.

“He’s honestly been having bad dreams every night,” Goodman told KSHB. “None of these people have ever once said, ‘How is Troy? how is your son holding up? Is his face OK?’”

Goodman told police, who were called to the scene because of a disturbance, that her son had injuries to his face, but police said it was a civil matter, The Star reported.

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4 dead after Osaka hit with massive 6.1 magnitude earthquake

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:18 PM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:18 PM

6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Osaka

A massive 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck outside Osaka Monday morning, leaving at least four dead and 300 injured.

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Update 12:18 p.m. EDT June 18: Authorities confirmed a fourth person has died as a result of Monday’s quake.

Kyodo News reported identified the victim as an 81-year-old woman who died after a wardrobe fell on her.

Three other people have died in the earthquake: two men in their 80’s and a 9-year-old girl.

Original report: According to The Associated Press, the dead included two elderly men and a 9-year-old girl killed at school when a wall fell.

The quake registered around 8 a.m. with an initial strength of 5.9, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

 

There was no tsunami threat however morning commutes were disrupted as trains were not running and power was out to many homes, according to the Japan Times

Kansai Electric Power Co. said nuclear plants in Fukui Prefecture were operating normally.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

What To Do If An Earthquake Hits

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