Day: July 29, 2017

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Thousands of tourists evacuate North Carolina island after power outage


A “steady stream” of tourists left a North Carolina island Saturday under evacuation orders prompted by a widespread power outage, wiping out a significant chunk of the lucrative summer months for local businesses.

It could take days or weeks to repair an underground transmission line damaged early Thursday by construction crews working on a new bridge between islands. The construction company drove a steel casing into an underground transmission line, causing blackouts on Ocracoke and Hatteras islands.

Cars lined up Friday to get on ferries, the only way off Ocracoke Island, after about 10,000 tourists were ordered Thursday evening to evacuate. A second order for visitors to Hatteras Island, south of Oregon Inlet, meant up to 60,000 additional people had to evacuate starting Saturday, primarily north over the inlet bridge.

As of 2 p.m. Saturday, North Carolina ferries had evacuated about 3,800 people and 1,500 cars from both islands, according to Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.

Cooper said he called local officials to pledge state help.

“We’ll do all we can to get repairs moving,” he said in a release.

Excavation at the site revealed Saturday that one of three underground transmission cables that supply the islands’ power is missing a 2-foot section. A timetable for repairs won’t be known until crews determine whether either of the other cables, still buried as of Saturday afternoon, was damaged, according to Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative.

Dare County spokeswoman Dorothy Hester had no estimate for how many people still needed to leave Hatteras Island.

“We realize people are disappointed. They brought a lot of stuff here. They’re packing up and moving out,” she said. “While disappointed, they’re going to make their way home.”

Roughly 80 percent of the islands’ tourism stems from vacation rentals, and the order coincides with the customary Saturday turnover for weekly home rentals, so those people would be leaving anyway. The big question is when visitors can get to homes already rented for upcoming weeks in the height of tourism season, said Lee Nettles, director of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau.

While villages north of the bridge may benefit from some displaced tourists, others “got the message and are staying home,” he said.

The order barring inbound tourists did not apply to Hatteras Island’s roughly 6,000 year-round residents or to other property owners.

“Residents are fine. We all know how to pull together,” said Angela Conner Tawes, manager of Conner’s Supermarket, a third-generation grocery store in Buxton, which delivered about 90 barbeque sandwiches to utility workers for lunch. “But financially for us, losing time in August is a big deal. This is when we make our money for the year. We’re just holding our breath and waiting.”

As of Saturday afternoon, tourists were still shopping at the store, which has kept regular hours thanks to its two large generators. One unknown is whether the store will get its Tuesday scheduled delivery, Tawes said.

“Until we know something, we’re trying not to fret too much,” she said.

The island’s regular summer fish fry remained on schedule for Saturday evening since organizers ordered the fish before the evacuation call was made Friday. Now they’re just hoping to recoup their costs. They’re foregoing the normal plate fees, feeding whoever shows up with whatever they want to pay, if anything.

“It’s better for it to be eaten than go to waste,” said Mary Ellon Ballance, president of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of Hatteras Village Volunteer Fire Department, one of four groups that hold the weekly fundraiser. “This is like a dry hurricane for us — the aftermath of a hurricane without the destruction.”

The utility is supplying temporary power to residents, businesses and emergency services with diesel and portable generators.

But conservation measures were still mandatory, which include barring the running of air conditioners and hot tubs, Hester said.

Business owners were upset that the disaster was caused by human error, not Mother Nature.

“It’s a hard pill to swallow that someone forgot where the power cable was,” said Jason Wells, owner of Jason’s Restaurant on Ocracoke Island. “How do you forget where the power cable is?”

Wells said his restaurant, closed by the outage, is missing out on at least $5,000 a day in sales. He said many seasonal businesses close for one-third of the year, making the summer months essential to their bottom lines. His 25 workers typically make between $75 and $250 a day.

“So when you take this hit in July and factor in that you’re only open eight months out of the year, it’s big,” he said. “It’s a lot more than people even realize.”

He estimated that total losses for shops, hotels and restaurants on the island could easily top $100,000 per day.



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Replica of lunar module stolen from Neil Armstrong museum


A rare, solid gold replica of the 1969 Lunar Excursion Module that landed on the moon has been stolen from the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

The Wapakoneta police received a burglary alarm call shortly before midnight on Friday, July 28. When they arrived, the piece was found to be missing.

The module is 5 inches high and about 4.5 inches square. It was given to Armstrong in Paris shortly after the moon landing. Cartier made three of the replicas, one for each of the astronauts on the mission.

Police say that the “value of such an item cannot be determined.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are assisting local police in the investigation.

Please contact the Wapakoneta Police Department at (419) 738-8802 with any information.

Click for more from Fox8.com.



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'I have a boa constrictor stuck to my face,' woman tells 911 operator – Family dog finds help for two girls struck by lightning


An Ohio woman called 911 Thursday after a 5-foot-6-inch boa constrictor she had rescued wrapped itself around her face and began biting her nose.

The victim, a 45-year-old woman of Sheffield Lake, which is about 10 miles west of Cleveland, called authorities after one of the two boa constrictors she rescued the previous day had attacked her. The recording of her 911 call was released.

“I have a boa constrictor stuck to my face,” the woman yelled.

“Ma’am you have what?” the 911 dispatcher asked.

“Boa constrictor,” the woman repeated. “Please hurry. He’s biting my nose.”

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“I’ve never heard of this before,” the dispatcher was heard saying.

Rescuers arrived within minutes and found the woman lying in the bloodied driveway of her home, the snake holding tight just as she described. A firefighter had to cut the snake’s head with a pocket knife in order to release the woman from its grasp. The woman, who was not identified, was transported to the hospital for treatment. She suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Dennis Bring, Sheffield Lake’s mayor, said he was pleased with how authorities handled the incident, according to WAFB.

“I’m just really pleased with the paramedic’s response and you know the thought, to think that quick to take out a pocket knife,” Bring told WAFB.

“Obviously he had to destroy the snake, but he had no other choice,” Bring said.

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The woman told the dispatcher during the call that she had rescued boa constrictors on Wednesday and that she owned nine ball pythons.

“I would imagine the bite was very painful so she’s going to have to put up with that awhile, too. And now she’s going to have to make a decision on whether she continues to do this,” Bring said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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USS Ford makes history by launching, landing fighter jet with magnetic technology


The USS Gerald R. Ford, the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, successfully launched and landed an aircraft with advanced digital, magnetic technolgy, which replaces the older steam-driven catapult system.

The succesful missions Friday came less than a week after President Trump commissioned the nearly $13 billion ship in Virginia.

“Today, USS Gerald R. Ford made history,” said Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces. “Great work by the Ford team and all the engineers who have worked hard to get the ship ready for this milestone.”

Trump suggested last spring that the Navy continue to use the steam-based catapult system to launch and snag aircraft on and off ships’ flight decks, amid the contiuned concerns about the cost to complete the USS Ford.

Prior to Friday’s missions, the new technology had been successfully tested ashore at Lakehurst, N.J., according to the Navy.

“This is the first shipboard recovery and launch of a fleet fixed wing aircraft,” said Capt. Rick McCormack, Ford’s commanding officer.

The aircraft used was A-18F Superhornet fighter jets, based at the naval base at Patuxent River, Md.

 

 



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Australia police arrest four men in alleged plot to bomb aircraft


Police raided properties in several Sydney suburbs and arrested four men on Saturday on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack, officials said.

The raids related to a bomb plot involving aircraft, Fairfax Media, News Corp. and the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the counterterrorism raids on Saturday afternoon were “designed to disrupt and prevent plans to undertake terrorist attacks in Australia.”

The operation was carried out by the Australian Federal Police, the New South Wales state police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the country’s domestic spy agency.

“Four men have been taken into custody and are assisting police with their enquiries,” a police statement said.

Seven Network television reported that 40 riot squad officers stormed an inner-Sydney house before an explosives team found a suspicious device.

Turnbull said he was briefed on the progress of the operation by security agency heads.

“My number one priority, and that of my government, is the safety and security of all Australians, and the public should be reassured that our security and intelligence agencies are working tirelessly to keep us safe,” the prime minister said in a statement.

Turnbull is expected to provide further details on Sunday.



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JEFF'S NEW JOB? Sessions suggested for Homeland Security head


Could Attorney General Jeff Sessions end up at the Department of Homeland Security?

It’s an idea some political observers have been debating after President Trump announced Friday that John Kelly, who leads the department, would replace Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff.

Here’s how the theory goes: The president has been lashing out at Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia meddling investigation. Sessions would be able to continue his work against illegal immigration as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. And then the president would appoint someone else to the Department of Justice who would then fire Robert Mueller as special counsel in the Russia probe.

Dana Perino, the former White House press secretary under George W. Bush, argued such an arrangement could placate conservatives who would be outraged if Sessions was ousted from the administration.

“Conservatives that came to Jeff Sessions’ defense this week all said, ‘But he’s doing the best on the issue we care about most and that is immigration.’ Well, where can Jeff Sessions do even more on immigration? As the secretary of Homeland Security,” Perino said Friday on Fox News’ “The Five.”

She added, “And then how can the conservatives complain? And then you have a new AG, [the president] thinks, who can fire Mueller.”

But one Republican senator is already opposing the idea.

“DHS Secretary Jeff Sessions doesn’t sound right, doesn’t feel right,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted Saturday. “Bad idea.”

Graham also said, “AG Jeff Sessions has a good ring to it. Highly qualified, committed to the rule of law, tough on crime, and fiercely independent.”

KELLY, NEW WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, HAILED AS ‘STAR OF THE ADMINISTRATION’

Such a move would not be popular with liberals either.

“To be clear: appointing Jeff Sessions to replace John Kelly at DHS to disrupt the Russia investigation would be met with MASS RESISTANCE,” Zac Petkanas, a Democratic strategist who previously worked for Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid, tweeted Saturday.

Politico cited two sources saying the idea of Sessions being moved to DHS has been talked about among department staffers. But the outlet also said a Trump administration source called the possibility unlikely.

A spokesman for DHS said Friday that Kelly remains secretary of the department until Monday when Elaine Duke, the deputy secretary, will become acting secretary. The president will then nominate a new leader for the department.

A White House spokesman referred questions about Sessions to the Department of Justice.



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NO MORE MONEY? Trump warns bailouts for health insurers, lawmakers 'will end very soon'


President Trump on Saturday threatened to end health care “bailouts” for insurers and lawmakers in Washington as he continues to push Congress to pass legislation repealing ObamaCare.

“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon.

He also tweeted, “After seven years of ‘talking’ Repeal & Replace, the people of our great country are still being forced to live with imploding ObamaCare!”

Trump appears to be talking about cost-sharing subsidies for insurers. Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, recently told insurers such subsidies could end.

“We are looking at the cost-sharing payments on a month-to-month basis. We made them today. We’ll make them tomorrow,” Mulvaney said, according to the Independent Journal Review. “But I don’t think we’ll see a long-term commitment from this administration.”

Some conservatives have also been pushing the White House to end subsidies to lawmakers and their employees made possible by an Office of Personnel Management exemption.

“It’s also troubling that the Trump administration used executive powers to bail out insurers but will not use his lawful executive power to end Obama’s order exempting members of Congress from paying the full Obamacare freight,” Daniel Horowitz recently wrote at ConservativeReview.com.

Senate Republicans have repeatedly tried, but failed, to pass legislation that eliminates or overhauls former President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law.

TRUMP CALLS ON CHANGES FROM SENATE REPUBLICANS

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped to pass a “skinny repeal” measure late Thursday. But when the vote finally took place early Friday morning, three Republicans — John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — joined with Democrats in opposition, killing the plan.



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'PERFECT VICTIMS' Man convicted of rape attempt wrote of his plans


A Pennsylvania man who was convicted of attempted rape in 2013 had written journal entries describing the crime in explicit detail, police said.

Frank Yeager, 33, of Bucks County, received 20 years in prison in 2013 after he attempted to persuade a female realtor to go into a model home with him.

Yeager pleaded guilty to the attempted rape charge. The Superior Court in Lehigh County, which is north of Philadelphia, upheld his sentence this week.

Yeager kept a journal where he wrote his rape plans and described his perfect victims, according to NBC4i.  He also drew his rape fantasies in the entries.

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“I truly enjoy the hunt and cannot wait for my prize,” Yeager wrote. “If you are reading this I found a realtor woman and raped her. I have been planning and have wanted this my whole life.”

Yeager also wrote out a list of 200 real estate agents he was interested in raping. The list included their names, addresses, where they lived and their places of employment. Yeager wanted women who looked like model and celebrity personality Paris Hilton.

The woman Yeager attempted to rape said she felt uneasy at first when she showed Yeager the home. She attempted to get the man to look at the house by himself. Yeager showed up at the woman’s office less than an hour later claiming the home had a water leak and she needed to see it.

The woman did not trust Yeager and declined to go to the residence with him, police said. Yeager left when a male co-worker appeared in her office.

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When police investigated, they said they found a “rape kit, two handguns, four knives, a metal chain and rope” in Yeager’s car, according to the New York Daily News.

Police said the man planned the attempted rape for five months. Yeager confessed that he formulated the home’s water leak to “take advantage” of the real estate agent.



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OPINION: Liberal news outlets work overtime to hide a huge Democratic scandal


Watching news outlets go out of their way to hide a potentially huge Democratic scandal is almost funny. So-called journalists are too busy covering presidential tweets to report on a topic that might embarrass their friends.

Welcome to the Imran Awan-Debbie Wasserman Schultz scandal or Compugrab, as I like to call it.

Awan was the top IT aide to Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The FBI reportedly “seized smashed computer hard drives” from his home. He was “arrested trying to flee to Pakistan after wiring almost $300,000 to the country,” according to The Daily Caller, which has owned the story because it does actual news reporting.

Here’s an amazing paragraph from the Caller: “Awan and members of his family received $4 million from the Democratic congressmen they were working for since 2010. Wasserman Schultz has been especially uncooperative with the probe into her staffers and even threatened the Capitol Police chief for gathering evidence. She refused to fire Awan until after he was arrested, even though Capitol Police had already revoked Awans’ access to the congressional IT system in February in relation to a major security breach.” ($4 million, and you wonder where your tax dollars go.)

This is why so many Americans no longer trust the traditional media. It’s because we can’t. They’d rather write snarky stories about the president’s Twitter comments than do actual reporting.

The traditional media has barely even acknowledged this story exists. In the 24 hours after his arrest, only “CBS This Morning” reported on it – for 37 seconds. And co-host Gayle King made a point of ending the story with the claim by Awan’s attorney that charges are due to “anti-Muslim bigotry.”

Newspapers have been almost as bad. The Washington Post wasn’t just slow to the party. Legal reporter Spencer Hsu didn’t mention Awan’s ties to Hill Democrats until the seventh paragraph. Imagine the Post writing like that about Hill Republicans. A headline on an Associated Press story was especially entertaining: “Florida lawmaker fires IT staffer; Anti-Muslim bigotry is cause of client’s arrest, lawyer says.”

This is why so many Americans no longer trust the traditional media. It’s because we can’t. They’d rather write snarky stories about the president’s Twitter comments than do actual reporting. Hats off to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Luke Rosiak for remembering what journalism really means.

2. Summertime For Hitler: President Trump’s speech to the Boy Scouts caused journalists and lefty media to have a Goebbels moment and envision the entire event as a Hitler Youth Rally. The alt-left marched in goose step comparing American boys to Nazis. Director Michael Moore, soap opera star Nancy Lee Grahn and other liberals pretended that chanting “U.S.A.” and cheering Trump made them equal to the people who supported Hitler.

While “The View” didn’t “Sieg heil” like many on the left, it did bash Trump and put pressure on the Scouts. Among “The View’s” “Things Not to Say When Giving A Speech to 40,000 Boy Scouts” was this horrifying statement: “You will be saying Merry Christmas again when you go shopping.”

There’s nothing more offensive to secular media liberals than faith. Hard to tell if it terrifies them more in the here-and-now or if they are looking toward the hereafter.

That media pressure, and attacks by the “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show,” and CNN’s Chris Cillizza intimidated the Boy Scouts into distancing themselves from Trump. Based on the cheering Trump received, there was no such distance between the president and the Scouts who heard him speak.

3. Those Hateful Conservatives, Oops!: We’ve watched six months of demented hate from the lefty media against White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. He’s gone, so now we’ll get demented hate from the media against new White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Ira Madison III, who writes about culture for The Daily Beast and GQ, welcomed Sanders with a cruel critique of her looks. Madison tweeted: “Butch queen first time in drags at the ball,” next to a picture of Sanders.

Conservatives were outraged but liberals barely noticed. The War on Women only applies to liberal women, after all. White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci called it “reprehensible” and asked for an apology. Madison gave a half-hearted one for his “ill-judged joke.”

While working at MTV News earlier this year, Madison embarrassed himself by bashing then-Sen. Jeff Sessions. He accused Sessions of using an Asian-American girl as a “prop” during a hearing. “Sessions, sir, kindly return this Asian baby to the Toys ‘R’ Us you stole her from,” he wrote on Twitter. The girl was actually Sessions’ granddaughter. Madison deleted the comment.

Never forget that the left believes in “NO H8TE.” Or, in the words of Madison’s bosses at The Daily Beast, they value “an inclusive culture, committed to the public good.”

4. The Media Climate Isn’t Changing: Liberals whine about global warming, but the media climate is just the same as it was 11 years ago when the film “An Inconvenient Truth” came out. Who cares if climate guru Al Gore warned then that Earth had only 10 years before Mother Earth turned crispier and reached a “point of no return?” That didn’t stop him from going Hollywood and producing a sequel.

The news and entertainment media loved Gore then and love him now. His silly “Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” hits national theaters Aug. 4. To ensure the propaganda (Oops, documentary) is successful, Viacom is deploying 10 of its TV outlets to push the film. Viacom, which has “approximately 700 million global subscribers,” is harassing viewers on  MTV, VH1, LOGO, Comedy Central, Spike, BET, CMT, TV Land, Nick@Nite and Teen Nick.

MTV will actually air a town hall where, “Gore will be joined by rapper and Miami resident Fat Joe, as well as 17-year-old activist Delaney Reynolds; DJ and fellow Miami-born artist Steve Aoki will act as a correspondent.” Apparently, no sports mascots were also available. 

Dan Gainor is the Media Research Center’s Vice President for Business and Culture. He writes frequently about media for Fox News Opinion. He can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter as dangainor.

 



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What the heck is goat yoga?


Yoga’s foundations can be traced back thousands of years, and the practice has taken many different forms during that time. But one class in Las Vegas is expanding that definition to include goats.

Goat Yoga Las Vegas is a petting zoo of sorts that provides yoga enthusiasts with small goats with which to play and snap selfies.

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“It’s a different way to find inner peace, so basically you come to yoga class to find your center, to be relaxed, to ground yourself, and basically animals do the same thing,” said director Brandon Nobles, who believes that the animals can have a calming presence.

During his class, around 20 of the furry creatures are allowed to walk around in a fenced enclosure. Instructors place pellets of food on the backs of yogis, or underneath their yoga mats, as they do a pose.

“The first week was very interesting … it takes a special person to teach the class,” said instructor Dylan Barnes. He also explained that he jumped at the chance to host a class, but claimed the goats took a while to warm up to him.

Barnes also acknowledged the small challenges in teaching goat yoga, including the fact that it takes place outside, and that the goats go to the bathroom quite frequently while the class is in session. But there is a safe word for that — it’s called “raisins” — and participants need only yell the word to alert another another instructor with a rake to clean up.

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Nobles, however, admitted that participants might not find the exact same inner focus during goat yoga, but it comes close. “The smiling and laughing kind of achieves the same effect.”

Goat yoga is pretty safe, too, despite goats being characterized as annoying menaces who chew everything in sight. As Nobles points out, goats don’t actually have teeth: “They could gum you to death possibly, but they’re pretty little and the safety hazard is pretty low.”

Andrew Craft is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Las Vegas, Nevada . Follow him on twitter: @AndrewCraft



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