Princess to Pay LargestEver Penalty for Dumping Oily Waste

first_imgzoom California-based cruise line Princess Cruises, part of Carnival Corporation, has agreed to pay USD 40 million penalty – the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution – and plead guilty to charges related to illegal dumping of oil-contaminated waste from the Caribbean Princess cruise ship.The company has agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges stemming from its deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up, the US Department of Justice said.The US investigation was initiated after information was provided to the US Coast Guard (USCG) by the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) indicating that a newly hired engineer on the Caribbean Princess reported that a so-called “magic pipe” had been used on August 23, 2013, to illegally discharge oily waste off the coast of England.The engineer quit his position when the ship reached Southampton, England. The chief engineer and senior first engineer ordered a cover-up, including removal of the magic pipe and directing subordinates to lie. The MCA shared evidence with the USCG including before and after photos of the bypass used to make the discharge and showing its disappearance, the US Department of Justice said.A perceived motive for the crimes was financial – the chief engineer that ordered the dumping off the coast of England told subordinate engineers that it cost too much to properly offload the waste in port and that the shore-side superintendent who he reported to would not want to pay the expense, the US Department of Justice said.The USCG conducted an examination of the Caribbean Princess upon its arrival in New York City, New York, on September 14, 2013, during which certain crew members continued to lie in accordance with orders they had received from Princess employees, according to the country’s Department of Justice.According to papers filed in court, the Caribbean Princess had been making illegal discharges through bypass equipment since 2005, one year after the ship began operations. The discharge on August 26, 2013, involved approximately 4,227 gallons, 23 miles off the coast of England within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. At the same time as the discharge, engineers simultaneously ran clean seawater through the ship’s overboard equipment in order to create a false digital record for a legitimate discharge.Caribbean Princess used multiple methods over the course of time to pollute the seas. Prior to the installation of the bypass pipe used to make the discharge off the coast of England, a different unauthorized valve was used. When the US Department of Justice investigative team conducted a consensual boarding of the ship in Houston, Texas, on March 8, 2014, they found the valve that crew members had described. When it was removed by Princess at the department’s request, it was found to contain black oil.In addition to the use of a magic pipe to circumvent the oily water separator and oil content monitor required pollution prevention equipment, the US investigation uncovered two other illegal practices which were found to have taken place on the Caribbean Princess as well as four other Princess ships.One practice was to open a salt water valve when bilge waste was being processed by the oily water separator and oil content monitor. The purpose was to prevent the oil content monitor from otherwise alarming and stopping the overboard discharge. This was done routinely on the Caribbean Princess in 2012 and 2013. The second practice involved discharges of oily bilge water originating from the overflow of graywater tanks into the machinery space bilges. This waste was pumped back into the graywater system rather than being processed as oily bilge waste. Neither of these practices were truthfully recorded in the oil record book as required. All of the bypassing took place through the graywater system which was discharged when the ship was more than four nautical miles from land. As a result, discharges within US waters were likely, according to the Southern District of Florida, US Department of Justice.“The conduct being addressed today is particularly troubling because the Carnival family of companies has a documented history of environmental violations, including in the Southern District of Florida,” Wifredo A. Ferrer, US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in Miami said.As part of the plea agreement with Princess, cruise ships from eight Carnival cruise line companies (Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Seabourn Cruise Line and AIDA Cruises) will be under a court-supervised Environmental Compliance Program (ECP) for five years. The ECP will require independent audits by an outside entity and a court-appointed monitor.If approved by the court, USD 10 million of the USD 40 million criminal penalty will be devoted to community service projects to benefit the maritime environment, USD 3 million of the community service payments will go to environmental projects in South Florida and USD 1 million will be earmarked for projects to benefit the marine environment in United Kingdom waters.The plea agreement was announced by the representatives of the Southern District of Florida in Miami, Florida and the US Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.last_img read more

Quebec facing strong opposition to new bill restricting cannabis consumption

first_imgMONTREAL — The Quebec government faced strong opposition as public consultations began Tuesday on its bill seeking to increase the legal age of cannabis consumption and ban it from all public areas.Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant has said he tabled Bill 2 in order to protect young people and send a message that smoking marijuana is not a trivial matter. The proposed legislation restricts marijuana usage to people aged 21 and over and limits its smoking to private property.The province’s public health agencies are largely against the new restrictions. They say raising the legal age to 21 from 18 won’t prevent young people from obtaining marijuana. And they say banning it from public areas marginalizes tenants whose landlords have banned smoking, creating a system were only certain groups can consume a legal product without breaking the law.The Canadian Press has learned that two public health organizations are planning to suggest a compromise on the age limit during hearings on Bill 2 before a legislative committee in Quebec City. Two well-placed sources said the committee will be told the government should give gradual access to cannabis to youth aged 18 to 20.People between 18 and 20 years should only be allowed to purchase marijuana with a low percentage of THC — the drug’s main psychoactive component, the committee will be told. “This proposal shows the scientific community, in public health, is trying to give an honourable exit door to the government on its policy,” said one source, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter.The current law is already one of the strictest legal regimes for marijuana in the country. Personal cultivation of cannabis plants is banned and the only way to legally purchase the product is through a government agency.The previous Liberal government had allowed public consumption of marijuana in places where tobacco was permitted, with certain restrictions, but the new Coalition Avenir Quebec government is not alone in seeking tighter rules. Even before Bill 2, many Quebec municipalities adopted their own bylaws banning all public consumption of cannabis.Marianne Dessureault, spokeswoman for Quebec’s association of public health, will appear before the committee Wednesday. She said she understands the desire to protect young, developing brains from the risks of marijuana, but she feels the bill lacks a scientific basis.“I am worried that we are going ahead and maybe transforming a law that sought to protect public health, towards a law that has more of a political flavour,” she said in an interview. “It’s concerning. It’s clear that (the bill) has a populist appeal and that it doesn’t have its place in public health policy.”Bastien Quirion, professor of criminology at the University of Ottawa, is also scheduled appear before the committee Wednesday. He questioned why the government would prohibit people under 21 years old from consuming cannabis but allow them to drink alcohol or smoke tobacco.“One hundred years of cannabis prohibition show that it’s not through banning it that we are going to eradicate the practice or prevent risky behaviour,” he said in an interview. “It will just put certain groups in a precarious position.”Maude Faniel-Methot, a spokeswoman for Carmant, declined to comment on the idea of giving younger people gradual access to THC. She said the minister is open to listening to all suggestions to amend the bill.Giuseppe Valiante, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,049.02, down 45.23 points).Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Up two cents, or 0.22 per cent, to $9.11 on 40.7 million shares.RNC Minerals. (TSX:RNX). Metals. Down four cents, or 14.3 per cent, to 24 cents on 34.8 million shares.Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH). Healthcare. Down 79 cents, or 3.66 per cent, to $20.82 on 16.2 million shares.HEXO Corp. (TSX:HEXO). Healthcare. Down 20 cents, or 2.37 per cent, to $8.25 on 15.3 million shares.New Gold Inc. (TSX:NGD). Gold. Up 23 cents, or 22.3 per cent, to $1.26 on 9.2 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Unchanged at $3.65 on 7.2 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Roots Corp. (TSX:ROOT). Down $1.46 or 15.6 per cent to $7.87 on 519,000 shares traded. The retailer’s shares fell after the heritage-clothing brand’s second-quarter results Wednesday fell short of analysts’ expectations. The Toronto-based company reported a $4.08-million net loss for the quarter ended Aug. 4 — up from a net loss of $3.2 million in the second quarter of the previous year. Roots said its adjusted net loss was $0.06 per share, while analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters Eikon were expecting a loss of $0.02 per share.Hudson’s Bay Co. (TSX:HBC). Consumer staples. Up 82 cents or 7.75 per cent to $11.40 on 486,000 shares traded. The retailer sees the planned divestiture of its European operations as an opportunity to focus on strengthening its North American base, anchored by the Saks Fifth Avenue and Hudson’s Bay retail banners. However, comparable-store sales at Hudson’s Bay — its main banner in Canada — were down slightly and its Saks OFF Fifth chain’s comparable sales in the United States and Canada were down 7.6 per cent.ATCO Ltd. (TSX:ACO.X). Utilities. Up 30 cents to $37.70 on 144,000 shares traded. The Calgary-based company says it will buy a 40-per-cent stake in South American port operator Neltume Ports for about $450 million. ATCO, which has interests in logistics, energy, and real estate, says the stake in the port operator and developer will further diversify its business. The deal adds to ATCO’s partnership with Parkland Fuel Corp. subsidiary Ultramar, which owns Neltume Ports.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly said Roots lost $8.34 million last year.last_img read more

If Parliament rejects Mays Brexit deal uncertainty reigns

first_imgLONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May looks to be on a collision course with Parliament over her Brexit plan.Lawmakers are beginning five days of debate Tuesday leading up to a Dec. 11 vote on the divorce deal agreed between May’s government and the European Union.May insists the deal “delivers for the British people.” But there’s a strong chance Parliament will reject it, leaving Britain staring at a Brexit precipice: exit on March 29 with no deal in place.Here’s a look at what might happen if lawmakers vote down her deal.___RENEGOTIATE AND TRY AGAINAn EU summit is scheduled for Dec. 13-14, and Britain could go back to the bloc seeking changes to the deal. EU leaders insist it is not renegotiable, but while the 585-page withdrawal agreement is locked down, the declaration on future relations is shorter and vaguer.If that were tweaked, the government could bring the amended deal back to Parliament and hope for a different result.But British lawmakers differ on what a better deal would look like. Many Brexiteers seek a cleaner break with the bloc, and want to change the Irish border “backstop” that would bind the U.K. in a customs union with the EU. It is very unlikely the bloc would re-open this.Pro-EU lawmakers want a softer divorce — the so-called “Norway option” — that keeps Britain inside the EU single market for goods and services. The EU might be open to the idea, but it would mean accepting free movement of people from the bloc to Britain, a red line for many U.K. Brexit supporters.___CHANGE THE LEADERMay insists she has no plans to resign, but she may have no choice if she loses the vote by a wide margin.Alternately, pro-Brexit Conservative rebels who have long wanted to oust her can trigger a no-confidence vote if they amass 48 letters of support. If May lost the vote, there would be a leadership contest with the winner decided by a ballot of party members — a process that would take several weeks.May would remain prime minister in the meantime, but without much in the way of authority or a mandate, as the clock ticked down to March 29, the day Britain officially leaves the EU.___HOLD AN ELECTIONThe main opposition Labour Party says it will try to trigger an election by calling a no-confidence vote in the government.Winning it would require support from some Conservatives, who may be unwilling to support an election that could well see them ousted from power.If May’s government lost a no-confidence vote, it would have two weeks to overturn the result with a new vote by lawmakers. If that failed, there would be an election, a process that takes five to six weeks.Whatever new government emerges would have little time to solve the Brexit conundrum before March 29.___NEW REFERENDUMThe campaign to revisit Brexit in a second referendum — driven largely by supporters of the losing “remain” side last time around — has been gathering steam as the pitfalls and complexity of the divorce process become clear.But the government is firmly opposed, and it’s unclear whether a majority of lawmakers would back the idea in a parliamentary vote.And what would the question be? Many pro-EU politicians want a choice between leaving on the proposed terms and staying in the EU, but others say leaving without a deal should also be an option. There’s a strong chance any new referendum would be as divisive as the first.There also is not enough time to hold a plebiscite before March 29, so Brexit would have to be paused — and that would require agreement from the EU.___NO DEAL“No deal” is the outcome almost no one wants — but it is also the default option. If the divorce deal is not approved, altered or put on hold, Britain will cease to be an EU member at 11 p.m. London time on March 29.The Bank of England has warned that a “no-deal” exit could plunge Britain into its deepest recession in nearly a century, and businesses warn the sudden end to longstanding trading agreements with the EU could see gridlock at British ports and shortages of food and medicines.___NO BREXITThe government says stopping Brexit would betray voters’ decision to leave the bloc. But some lawmakers want it to be an option, and have asked Europe’s top court to rule on whether Britain could unilaterally change its mind about Brexit. On Tuesday the European Court of Justice’s advocate general said that in his opinion, it could. The full court ruling is due within weeks.___ALL BETS IN PLAYIt’s difficult to predict which outcome is most likely. Bookmakers certainly don’t know how the Brexit process will end, though they appear to be pretty sure that May won’t get her deal through Parliament next week. Ladbrokes, for example, is offering odds of 4 to 1 against her deal getting approved.“I would not want to bet on anything,” said Rob Ford, a professor of political science at the University of Manchester.“This is a situation of what some probability scientists would call radical uncertainty. We just don’t know what the relative chances of these options are because this is an unprecedented situation in lots of ways, and these outcomes are interacting, they’re dynamic, they’re complex. It’s like a chaotic weather system.”___See the AP’s Brexit coverage at: https://www.apnews.com/BrexitJill Lawless, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Russell Westbrook Does Everything Fast For Better And For Worse

201453.312.1 201649.9%21.7% 201557.115.2 Source: Synergy Sports Given the aggressive way he challenges multiple defenders at once and the energy he expends in doing so, it’s not all that surprising that Westbrook’s turnover rate is spiking. At the same time, he’s scoring in transition just under 50 percent of the time, which is his lowest success rate on such plays since his rookie season in 2008.There’s also been a major shift in the kind of turnovers Westbrook has been committing since he took on an unprecedented share of his team’s offense in the absence of Durant. The share of his miscues that stem from losing the ball — as opposed to throwing a bad pass, for instance — has more than doubled this season, according to Basketball-Reference. (In fairness, fellow MVP candidate James Harden, who has also been asked to take on a far greater role in his team’s offense, has struggled with many of the same turnover issues.)Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/westbrook-vs-heat1.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.In Cleveland on Sunday, I asked Thunder coach Billy Donovan about Westbrook’s aggressive, coast-to-coast sprints, and Donovan said he’s careful to not try to change the player Westbrook is, especially considering how much his star is asked to facilitate on offense.“When he does make a mistake, or doesn’t make the right decision and it results in a turnover, nobody is harder on him than himself. So there’s a line for me: I don’t want to take away a guy who, in my opinion, is the best open-floor player in the world,” Donovan said before his team lost to the Cavaliers. “After he makes a mistake, he does a good job of regulating and pulling back so that he can make better decisions.”Westbrook, who’s faced questions for the majority of his career about whether he sometimes plays too fast, has said in the past that he doesn’t feel his play is out of control.“I don’t think I play reckless at all,” he said. “I just think I play at a high level that other people may not be used to seeing.” That much is almost impossible to disagree with.Kawhi Leonard’s little fundamentalsIt’s challenging to illustrate how good Kawhi Leonard is on defense with numbers alone, but one metric offers us a glimpse: How often his blocked shots end up in the Spurs’ hands as opposed to the other team’s. It happens way more often than it should.On average, defensive teams come up with the ball about 57 percent of the time after they block a shot. But San Antonio has gotten possession of the ball on 75 percent of Leonard’s blocks this season, the highest rate in the NBA among players with at least 25 swats, according to information from BigDataBall, a database that logs the league’s play-by-play data. (San Antonio is still somewhat above-average at recovering blocks if you take Leonard’s numbers out of the mix, but the Spurs’ 61 percent recovery rate without Leonard doesn’t stand out from the rest of the league nearly as much.)It’s unclear whether this speaks solely to Leonard’s ability to guide blocks with his oversized hands, or whether it’s more a function of the Spurs being in a good position to field the swats once they occur.In any case, Leonard had a great mentor for this sort of thing. Recently retired Spurs legend Tim Duncan saw his teammates recover almost 74 percent of his blocked shots last season, per BigDataBall; the highest rate of any NBA player with 70 blocks or more.Paul George, all of a sudden the NBA’s best free-throw shooterAcross the board, from his three-point stroke to his solid efficiency in the last four seconds of the shot clock, Paul George has improved considerably as a shooter this season. He has also become a surprisingly great free-throw shooter — he’s hitting almost 93 percent from the charity stripe and is leading the league in free-throw percentage.That might not seem all that surprising — after all, he shot 86 percent from the free-throw line last season. But the Pacers star was very slightly worse than league average from the line as a rookie, making 76 percent of his shots that year. If he keeps this up, George would be the first player in more than 45 years — and just the second player in NBA history after Chet Walker — to lead the NBA in free-throw percentage after shooting worse than league average from the stripe during his rookie season.The Memphis Grizzlies’ defense is just for kicksThe Grit ’n’ Grind Grizzlies have long been known for their tough, bruising style of old-school basketball. But at certain points over the years, Memphis looked like it was doing its best impression of a soccer team instead.The Grizzlies, fourth in the NBA with 35 kicked-ball violations, are on track to rank among the NBA’s top 10 in the category for the sixth time in nine seasons, according to rare-stat site NBA Miner. Leading the charge for the Grizzlies is Marc Gasol, who tops the league with 13 kicked-ball violations this season, per BigDataBall. Related: Hot Takedown 201353.315.0 201254.811.1 201054.815.1 Welcome to Four-Point Play, our weekly NBA column that pieces together four statistical trends from around the league and lays out what they tell us about where a team has been or where it’s heading. Find a stat you think should be included here? Email or tweet me at chris.herring@fivethirtyeight.com or @Herring_NBA.Is Russell Westbrook too fast for his own good?Between his freakish athleticism and the sheer fury with which he plays, Russell Westbrook — the closest thing we have to a human cannonball in pro sports — is the most entertaining player in the game today. Unlike smoother players like LeBron James or Chris Paul, who have a signature ebb and flow to their games, the Oklahoma City star is unpredictable from one play to the next. Because of his game-changing speed — when going full bore, he’s one of the NBA’s five fastest players, according to the league’s high-level tracking data — Westbrook’s capable of making plays that most other athletes can only dream of pulling off.More often than not, though, when Westbrook’s talent backfires, it’s because he’s trying too hard to make something happen, particularly when he’s outnumbered during fast-break situations.Oklahoma City, after forcing a live-ball turnover, is finishing its possessions in just over eight seconds on average, which is by far the fastest rate in the league, according to Inpredictable, a site that specializes in calculating win probabilities and other advanced sports metrics. Westbrook, as the team’s point guard and best player, is an enormous part of that speed. But the quick trips down the court aren’t necessarily paying off: As of Wednesday afternoon, the Thunder were tied for the second-worst efficiency after live-ball turnovers. That’s a steep drop-off from last year, when Kevin Durant was still in Oklahoma City and the club had the NBA’s eighth-best offense in those scenarios.Perhaps Westbrook’s speed-demon tendencies have something to do with that inefficiency.In transition, Westbrook’s reliance on his speed means he’ll often experience the same dichotomy as Sonic the Hedgehog: He either sprints triumphantly across the finish line or crashes painfully into an obstruction, losing all his golden rings.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/westbrook-vs-clippers-clip.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Westbrook is involved in an NBA-high seven transition plays per game. And according to an analysis run at FiveThirtyEight’s request by Brittni Donaldson of SportVU, which tracks nearly everything that happens on an NBA court, there have been 413 instances1As of January 29. this season where, following a turnover or a defensive rebound in the backcourt, Westbrook took at least three dribbles and covered at least 20 feet with those dribbles. For context, John Wall, the next closest player, has done that 257 times. 200847.215.7 201154.515.5 SEASONSCORETURNOVER 200954.113.2 Outcomes of Russell Westbrook possessions when in transition Is College Basketball Broken? We Asked The Game’s Top Stats Guru Of course, there are practical reasons for a team like Memphis — which has also ranked among the top 10 on the defensive end of the floor for six of the past seven seasons — to kick the basketball. At a minimum, it forces a team to reset its offense with less time remaining on the shot clock. And at a maximum, it prevents an opposing player from catching an interior pass in a prime scoring area. (We’ve seen Tony Allen accidentally go a bit too far defending with his feet before.)That said, it’s more fun to try to connect the dots between Gasol’s kicked-ball violations and Gasol’s love for soccer. He hails from Spain, and he is an FC Barcelona fan. Plus, who could forget the time he nearly headed the basketball into the hoop during a pause in the action?Additional research assistance by Neil Paine.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

Sean Dyche hopes his players will overcome poor form

first_imgSean Dyche has urged his players to wake up from slumber after accusing them of being trapped in a fog following Burnley’s loss at Wolves.The Clarets are experiencing their worst start to a league campaign in 90 years.Dyche’s men have managed to secure one point from their opening five games this term, and the manager has called on his team to step up their game.“No complaints, Wolves played well,” he told Sky Sports. “They are a good side, and we knew we would have to defend resolutely, which to be fair I thought we did – our ‘keeper played well.Premier LeaguePremier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“We were a bit more like ourselves defensively. It was a poor goal but other than that we got blocks in, were resolute and stayed in the game where we could have got something.“But attacking wise it was nowhere near enough, not enough quality, guile and energy really. That’s got to change.“We’re in a bit of fog at the moment; we collectively have to get our way out of that. We’ve been here before, we know it changes quickly, but we’ve got to work to make it change.”last_img read more

FIFA has no decision to make Tebas

first_imgAccording to La Liga president, the world federation doesn’t have to say anything about the planned official matches in the United StatesThe Spanish La Liga is planning to have at least one official match in the United States.And Barcelona and Girona have been selected for this special game, to be played in Miami on January.Many have criticized this decision, and expect FIFA not to give permission to this event.But for La Liga president Javier Tebas, the world federation doesn’t have to say anything about the planned matches in the U.S.“The responsibility of FIFA and federations is to grow the sport, not one league or game,” Tebas told people in Miami today as reported by The Sports Business.James Rodriguez, Real MadridZidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.“There is 90 percent likelihood for the match on January 26. The entire conflict with the media that has been generated – that had been foreseen. This has been more than a year in the making.”“We have to ask for authorizations. FIFA has no decision to make here because we use FIFA rules for international matches. Theoretically, there should be no opposition,” he added.“We just played a final in Morocco. Imagine if we could go to Morocco to play. How could we not play one match in the US? Then there is the American Federation [U.S. Soccer]. Then fourth you have CONCACAF.”“How is MLS harmed by one match? Because if someone tells me it could harm them then we would have to stop broadcasting the Premier League and Serie A on TV – that’s in people’s homes every weekend. We can’t think there will be any harm. I think this will lead to more people watching soccer,” Tebas continued.“You will need a better argument to convince me. If MLS asked me for a match in Spain, I would say yes and help it happen to promote MLS. I don’t see them as a competitor when they come to play one match. We need to be more open to this.”last_img read more

Sunday Update Crews Continue To Halt Growth Towards Sterling

first_imgCall the Fire Information line at 208-391-3488, visit kpboem.com or inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6387/ As of Sunday, the following recreation areas are closed to public access: Casey: “The east side is really our crux right now, that’s definitely were we saw that acreage growth on that side as it just chews through that black spruce. With this warm weather we keep getting challenged as we attempt to push this fire towards the hills and away from the highway. Protecting Sterling will remain the focus, and has always been the focus.”  Kale Casey Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team: “We are focused on that southwest corner and you are just going  to keep hearing me say that, we are holding that southwest corner. The crews have got that corner locked off, and that’s the news we want to make sure nobody misinterprets. They are working their tails off to prevent it from making a push toward the Sterling Highway.”Recently inserted hotshot crews are tasked with implementing strategies to slow down fire progression on the eastern flank as the fire has burned on the east side of Mystery Creek Road and towards high mountain terrain. Aerial resources continue to be instrumental as ground crews called in rotary and fixed wing aircraft to target areas of concern to slow fire spread. on Saturday “Scoopers” from Canada were added these large airplanes are specially designed to scoop water from nearby Skilak and Hidden lakes and attack the fire’s edge. Those recreating in these areas should remain alert for and stay away from the center of the lakes for these firefighting aircraft. Saturday was the Pioneer Peak Interagency Hotshot Crew’s last shift securing the critical southwest containment line on the Swan Lake Fire. They were crucial in strengthening and mopping up the main fireline which prevents fire spread towards the private homes, businesses and infrastructure in Sterling.The Watson Lake Campground is closed to public use effective Saturday, June 22. This campground will be used as a crew camp in support of Swan Lake Fire operations, according to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Bottenintnin LakeWatson Lake CampgroundEgumen Lake TrailPetersen Lake CampgroundKelly CampgroundSeven Lakes TrailSkyline TrailJean Lake Campground Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Swan Lake Fire is 4 miles north of the Sterling Highway, and slowly inching towards it. The estimated 25,161 acre fire is continuing to challenge the roughly 361 crew members who are working to halt growth in that direction. Continued updates will be posted to this story if any significant changes occur throughout Sunday. The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge announced it has closed several recreation areas to support fire operations along the Sterling Highway, according to a Facebook post from refuge managers.last_img read more

Abbott Extends State Disaster Declaration For Counties Impacted by Harvey Including Harris

first_imgFlorian Martin / Houston Public MediaTexas Governor Greg Abbott has extended the State Disaster Declaration for Texas counties affected by hurricane Harvey, including Harris County.Texas Governor Greg Abbott has extended the State Disaster Declaration for Texas counties affected by Hurricane Harvey, including Harris County.Abbott’s communications office explained in a press release sent out on Monday that all Texas counties declared disaster areas will continue to be eligible for assistance as they recover and rebuild after Harvey.There are currently 60 counties included in the state disaster declaration, including Harris County.“The most important message I want to send to the victims of this storm is that they are not alone as they continue to recover from this storm,” said Governor Abbott and added that “while we still have a long way to go to return to a new normal, I have no doubt that Texas will eventually emerge from this disaster stronger than ever before.”State Disaster Declarations must be renewed every 30 days for assistance to remain available.Other counties from the greater Houston region that are included in the State Disaster Declaration are: Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Montgomery and Wharton.As part of the post-Harvey recovery, Governor Abbott accepted last week $5 billion from the federal government that the state of Texas can use, among other things, to provide housing for people affected by Harvey. Sharelast_img read more

Comerford sets World Record Dahlia Ties Own American Record at World Championships

first_imgStory Links In the 4 x 100 mixed free relay, the United States dueled Australia, when leadoff swimmer Team USA’s Caeleb Dressel went 47.34 to edge Australia’s Kyle Chalmers’ time of  47.37.  Zach Apple swam the second leg the Americans to keep the lead with a split of 47.34. Australia went ahead as Emma McKeon split a 52.06 on the 3rd leg to Mallory Comerford’s 52.72. Simone Manuel of Team USA (52.00) and Australia’s Bronte Campbell (52.36) anchored to put USA atop the podium with a new World Record time of 3:19.60. Australia touched in 3:19.97  to set a new national record. France won bronze with a time of 3:22.11.  In the 50M butterfly, Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden won her third consecutive title with a time of 25.02. Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands won her second silver medalist, boarding a 25.35, while Egyptian Farida Osman won her country’s first medal of the championships with a bronze medal-winning time of 25.47. Kelsi Worrell Dahlia touched just one- hundredth of a second shy of a medal, but tied her own American Record, posting a time of 25.48. France’s Marie Wattel touched fifth, going 25.50.center_img  Print Friendly Version Mallory Comerford won gold and helped set a world record and Kelsi Worrell Dahlia tied her own American record in a fast day of racing at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea.last_img read more