Author Archive: Charlie Barnett

 Missing New York dog discovered 1,100 miles away in Florida after leaving home following owner’s death

 

A dog has been found recently more than 1,100 miles far from home after disappearing during 18 months following his owner’s death in a gun accident.

The dog is a brown and white husky, named Sinatra. It went missing from Brooklyn, New York, last year, then somehow got to the town of Seffner, Florida, where he was found by Rose Verill, a 13-year-old boy. The Verills family first looked for the dog’s owners by using an identification chip read by a vet with the help of a friend, Jeanne Baldi.

However, the vet could just identify some information: the name “Willis Les” and a phone number which was one digit short. Therefore, Ms. Baldi began searching online for anyone who slightly matched the information they had gleaned. She found a man named Lesmore Willis on Facebook and sent a message to him. To her shock, Mr. Willis replied that he had indeed lost a dog.

They quickly realized that both the dog found in Florida and the one he had lost had the same problem with the right foot and confirmed by exchanging photographs.

Ms. Baldi said she never imagined that her Facebook would solve the matter, especially because she saw that Mr. Willis lived so far away.

Neither does Ms. Baldi, or Mr. Willis, have any idea about how Sinatra managed to travel the 1,100 miles from New York to Florida.

But when the dog’s owners were found, a new tragedy came out. Sinatra had originally been a present for Mr. Willis’s daughter Zion on her 14th birthday. She was an animal lover and avid dancer and started her own dog-walking business since still being a teenager. Sadly, two years later, Zion was killed in a gun accident while visiting a friend’s house. Sinatra disappeared the following year to compound the loss.

Mr. Willis was inconsolable when losing the dog because it was a strong connection to his late daughter. The Willis had put up flyers and searched for Sinatra across New York but had given up ever seeing him again.

But the much-loved Sinatra will soon be reunited with his family after friends of Ms. Baldi agreed to take him back to the Willis family.

Five children in Florida taken to hospital after being given cannabis-laced sweets at school, police say

Being given THC-laced gummies by a 12-year-old student in the class, several children at a school in Florida overdosed and at least five of them were taken to a hospital after experiencing dizziness, stomach pain, and nausea.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office officials told that the student somehow had a package of gummies which contained 100 mg of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main mind-altering ingredient in cannabis. He gave it to six other seventh-grade students during gym class at Mulberry Middle School on Thursday. He now faces seven felony charges due to possessing and distributing marijuana.

The District of Columbia and ten states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults – but not in Florida, and certainly never for children.

Mr. Judd, the sheriff, told reporters that the children were all going to make a great recovery and they were going to be all right with no long-term injury or illness. The officials are concerned about how a 12-year-old came to be in possession of this drug and why he offered it to these six other kids.

In Florida, the drug is legal in the form of medical marijuana with a prescription but remains illegal in other forms.

Mr. Judd said that the edibles which sickened the students are sold online and come in a gummy brick supposed to be separated into 10 adult doses in states where it is legal. He also said that almost the whole package was divided among the six children.

Authorities said at least five children consumed the gummies, and the sixth child is believed to have done as well.

The sheriff said that the boy who gave out the gummies said he did not eat any, and he told at least two different stories about how he got them.

It is not clear whether he knew that the gummies contained THC or not, but authorities claimed that ignorance is not a defense against crime. He will be charged with one count of marijuana resin possession, six counts of marijuana distribution within 1,000 feet of a school, and one misdemeanor count of paraphernalia possession also, authorities said.

When being asked whether the other six children might also face charges, Mr. Judd said no because they had eaten the evidence. However, they will be dealt with by the school system and their parents.

 

A cruise ship struck a Key West mooring

According to city officials, a cruise ship, 691-foot-long Silversea Silver Spirit, caught up in a heavy sustained wind last week crashed into a Key West mooring. That damaged enough to leave Mallory Square’s port of call unusable for at least three months.

City Manager, Jim Scholl, said that the cruise ship was leaving Mallory Square when the winds stopped it from turning around to get underway on Nov. 27. There were no injuries reported and the ship was not heavily damaged. About the estimated cost of repairs, Scholl said it could be a half-million dollars. However, he did not have the specific and exact figures.

Scholl also informed on Tuesday night that no ships can dock at Mallory Square until a “mooring dolphin,” which is a large concrete block atop pilings that helps in keeping the ships in a line – and away from the pier – when docking, can be replaced by the crews.

Besides the port of call in Mallory Square, Key West also has two other ones: the Outer Mole Pier at Truman Waterfront Park and another at Margaritaville Resort near Mallory Square.

Scholl also said that although the ship wasn’t damaged badly, that mooring dolphin was destroyed. The Coast Guard cleared them to go so that it was able to get underway.

The cruise line sent to Key West an insurance consultant to estimate the damages to the pier the next day and another this week. On the other hand, the city hired some divers from an engineering firm to inspect the damage on last Monday.

Liz Acar who was a witness and live-streamed the ship damage on Facebook that night says that due to the accident, all ships were not currently allowed to dock there.

The cruise ship Silver Spirit, built in 2009 and registered in the Bahamas, can accommodate 608 passengers.

 

 

Carnival to Bring Largest Ship to Florida’s Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral of Florida is poised to be home to the largest-ever cruise ship from the world’s biggest cruise line, Carnival.
Carnival Cruise Line reached an agreement with the Canaveral Port Authority on Tuesday to bring its new and yet-unnamed ship to the port’s new terminal. This 180,000-ton ship can accommodate 5,300 passengers and is set to debut in 2020. However, details of the agreement have not yet been released.

If approved, Carnival Cruise Line will be able to bring its largest-ever ship to the port, which can help cement the cruise line as the top operator on the Space Coast.
Carnival already has three year-round ships sailing from Port Canaveral, bringing in more than 650,000 passengers per year — about 15 percent of the port’s total cruise traffic.
President of Carnival Cruise Line, Christine Duffy, released that they have long-term plans for Port Canaveral and were very excited about the plan of homeporting their largest ship at Port Canaveral, their valued business partner for more than 25 years. He also affirmed that Port Canaveral, was easily accessible from all over the southeast with excellent facilities and friendly staff, was one of Carnival’s most popular and fastest-growing homeports.
Construction of the new ship will begin in November 2018 and finish by 2020. The ship will be the first North American-based ship powered by liquefied natural gas. Carnival Cruise Line will release further details and the ship’s itineraries next year.
Port Canaveral is one of the world’s busiest cruise ports. Port Director and CEO Capt., John Murray, said that the port and Carnival Cruise Line have built a “successful partnership” for more than 20 years. He also confirmed that Carnival’s commitment to Port Canaveral demonstrated their confidence in the Port’s ability to support one of the world’s most successful cruise brands and they were excited and looking forward to welcoming Carnival’s largest and newest class of ship.

Florida Homes Targeted by Looters after being Crashed by Hurricane Michael

Many Florida homes were left in the dark as a result of the powerful hurricane Michael reaching category four status a week ago. These homes are now the target of looters, and Florida authorities have arrested about ten suspected looters in the Florida panhandle a night.

The county sheriff’s office in the Bay has now sent out a serious warning that the houses, as well as the businesses situated in the devastated region, are being targeted by looters, and these are armed according to the reports published by the Panama City News Herald.

Thieves Enter Houses While Owners Sleep

Victoria Smith, one of the victims, shared that while she and her family of four children were sleeping, thieves enter her house. Smith left her front door open during the steamy weather that followed hurricane Michael to allow or a breeze, and her power was off at the time. While she was sleeping her purse were snatched by the perpetrators and even clutching it to her chest could not prevent this. Mrs Smith explained that she was simply exhausted from trying to fend for her children and survive during the storm, which made her so tired that she never even heard the thieves entering her home.

Looters Will Be Shot

Due to the looting in some of the areas, residents have spray painted several signs now warning the looters. Some read “You Steal We Kill” while other warns that “Looters Will Be Shot”. In the wake of hurricane Michael, Stanford reported that it is also a stressful period for the officers, who continue to work 16-hour shifts, even when most of them have also lost their homes during the hurricane. The influx of officers and resources from several other areas are a great help although the looting and lawfulness are a major concern. The recent storm in Florida killed 16 people, most from the coastal county, while another ten deaths have been reported from elsewhere. Many officers continue to work 16 hours up to 18-hour shifts without any sleep or getting a chance to shower and now they also have to deal with armed looters. It is a stressful time in Bay County, and everyone is still dealing with the damage after the hurricane.

Hurricane Michael’s Fury, A Week After Still Being Discovered

It is a week after hurricane Michael, and in largely-flattened town’s there are desperate searches still for missing persons. Neighbourhoods are devastated by the powerful blow from hurricane Michael, which was the strongest to hit Florida in almost 50 years. Slowly, cell phone services are returning, while 137,000 in northern Florida are without power. The lack of phone services and the electricity hampers the efforts to distribute water and food, and many residents have not been heard from since the storm. Officials have not announced how many are missing, although the death toll is 29 at the moment for North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Florida. As one resident describes it “We Basically Lots Old Florida.”

Did Global Warming Supercharge Hurricane Michael

Exploding in intensity, Hurricane Michael went from a tropical storm into a category 4 storm with 155 winds, and once it hit land, it became the third strongest to ever hit the United States and the most powerful to cause disaster in the Panhandle of Florida. Hurricane Michael is not the only record-breaker in 2018, and it is also the fourth warmest year when it comes to global warming, according to the NOAA. In the UK the Environmental Audit Committee warned that by 2040 summer temperatures will reach 38C potentially causing a yearly total of up to 7,000 heat-related deaths.

Earth’s Temperatures Increasing by Twice the Rate


According to National Geographic, the earth’s temperature is rising at twice the rate when compared to 50 years ago. This rapid pattern and rate of warming cannot be explained by natural cyclones only scientist say. It is the effect of greenhouse gases caused and ignored by humans.

Warm Ocean Waters of Gulf of Mexico

Hurricane Michael’s rapid intensification was fueled by both weather factors as well as the warm ocean water in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes fuel via water of around 80 degrees and the water was 4 to 5 degrees warmer than normal in the eastern Gulf. What certainly played a role is the warmer water that is humanly fingerprinted according to the Atmospheric and National Oceanic Administration, according to Jim Kossin a hurricane and climate expert.

Rapid Intensifications Will Be More Common in Future

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kerry Emanuel says that the incidences of storms will intensify rapidly and continue to substantially increase by the end of the century. Michael Mann, a climatologist at Penn State University, shared with ThinkProgress, that the ocean is undergoing rapid intensification, the ocean waters are unusually warm, it’s a pattern also identified a year ago with Florence, Harvey and now one of the strongest hurricane Michael.

Much Higher Temperatures


Ryan Maue, WeatherUS agrees and confirms that there is no doubt whatsoever that the warmer ocean waters encountered hurricane Michael, the waters were quite a bit warmer when compared to temperatures over the past three decades. By analyzing the water temperatures in early October, Maue found that when he compared the data from the period 1985 up to 2005 to the recorded data of the period 2006 up to 2018, the average rose in temperature was almost 1 degree. He feels more detailed analysis is required to completely understand what did happen across the Gulf of Mexico during the past twelve years.

Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, says, regardless the cause, Hurricane Michael saw everyone’s worst fears realised, its rapid intensification before landfall has never been experienced. Two measures are used to determine whether hurricanes are getting worse, the one is the strengths of the storms, the other the number of storms and both indicates that there has been a rapid increase since the start of the 20th century.

Over 370,000 Ordered to Evacuate in Florida

Hours before hurricane Michael hit Florida it was upgraded to a category four storm, a storm that is extremely dangerous and it was predicted that it would sustain winds of up to 130mph. Over 370,000 individuals in Florida were ordered to move to higher grounds and evacuate their homes while 13 people had already died because of the floods, rains and storm in Central America. Georgia, Alabama and Florida declared a state of emergency while the National Hurricane Centre in Miami warned that the hurricane is extremely dangerous.

Congressmen appeared on CNN on urge people to flee well in advance of the arrival of hurricane Michael until it was too late, and everyone was just advised to remain indoors when it became too dangerous to travel. Neal Dunn was one of the representatives of Panama City who appeared on CNN tonight and shared that the aftermath of hurricane Michael looked like a bomb went off on every single block, the trail of destruction was clear as the hurricane passed Florida’s panhandle.

National Weather Service issues several warnings

The National Weather Service also issued several warnings regarding the tornado as hurricane Michael became classified as a tropical storm while on its way to South Carolina. All residents were urged to move into interior rooms and not go outside. Soon after reports came in of dangerous flying debris as mobile homes were destroyed, roofs were damaged, and windows were broken.

Yet Michael passed the Mexico Beach as a hurricane category four according to video shots released by StormChasingVideo.com, while Tallahassee reported that many houses were damaged and that the area had no power, but that most people were doing well. By Wednesday most of the evacuees could return to what was left of their homes in Panama City, although people were advised to check their homes for gas leaks and to watch out for debris as the dangers were not completely over yet.

Hurricane Michael is the strongest storm to hit America since 1992 and reached wind speed so f 155 mph. The only interstate in the Florida area, Interstate 10 was closed by the Florida Highway Patrol, and the 81 miles of interstate stayed close due to extremely hazardous conditions. Later Mile Marker 166 and Mile Marker 85 was closed in both directions and travellers were advised to seek alternative routes.

Mike Thomas, the mayor of Panama City, told CNN’s John Berman that even though the city had suffered huge damage, it was not near what was expected. With most of the newer building being up to hurricane code, the damage could be somewhat controlled although the fire department and police experienced phone service problems.
By Friday morning, hurricane Michael was on its way to the Carolinas, now classified as a tropical storm it brought with it, heavy rain and strong winds, which made the main concern power outages. Albany that is 100 miles inland the storm left devastation, large trees where down, wires are lying across the streets, and trees have demolished houses and cars.

Toxic Red Tide Leaves Coastal Beaches Littered with Sea Life

Palm Beach County beach was littered with dozens of dead fish this week as the toxic red tide spread along the Atlantic Coast of Florida. Algae causing the red tide, have been spotted along some of the most densely populated parts of the east coast, according to Florida’s Wildlife and Fish Conservation Commission officials. In more than decade blooms were confirmed in St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach marking the first sign of the red tide.

After Hour of Coughing University of Miami’s Neurology Researcher Fled the Beach


Tests are performed by wildlife officials in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and the results are expected on Wednesday for Broward. Currently, no mention has been made regarding online updates and Susan Neel, the FWC spokeswoman mentioned that further results could be expected by Friday. Since last weekend several of the beachgoers have complained about itchy eyes, coughing and other symptoms related to red tide. After an hour of runny noses and coughing on Saturday, the University of Miami’s neurology researcher, Gerare Rimesso and his family fled the beach at Fort Lauderdale.

County Beaches Closed Since the Weekend

Since the weekend the county beaches have been closed, state biologists were sent to investigate the kills, after dead fish washed ashore in Palm Beach County at the MacArthur State Park and red tide were detected. The blooms were first spotted off Sarasota in the Gulf of Mexico, almost a year ago, it then got swept into the loop current of the Gulf connected to the current in Florida that flows north along the Atlantic coast. The Atmospheric Administration and National Oceanographic satellites detected evidence in August and September when algae were spotted west of the Marquesas Island.

The Algae that Causes the Red Tide Lives off the Gulf Coast & Therefore the Atlantic Coast Rarely Sees it. Over the fall and summer blooms withered the gulf shores, beaches were shut down and it cripples businesses, and fish kills are constantly reported between Collier and Pinellas counties. Since 1994 the blooms do appear in the gulf between fall and spring every year, this year the bloom also appeared off the Panhandle a month ago.

Coastal Pollution Feeds Blooms and Increase Problem

The blooms from offshore, but scientists revealed this week that the pollution feeds them and make it worse. This year’s bloom was encouraged by the blue-green algae that are massive on Lake Okeechobee. Palm Beach lifeguards informed beachgoers on Saturday that beaches were closed due to the number of people needing medical attention. Many asked one question and that is how long the situation would last, experts say it depends and at the time the red tides can last for weeks, it depends on nature, the wind and the sunlight it could also last a year. According to Florida’s Wildlife and Fish Research Institution, only eight blooms occurred since the early 1950’s and the last one was more than a decade ago.

Most Destructive and Powerful Hurricanes in the History of Florida

Mostly known for its breath-taking views and sandy beaches, Florida is also the place of deadly hurricanes. It has been hit by hurricanes more often than any of the other states. There also has been more damage and more loss of life collectively, in Florida than in other states according to Dan Kottlowski, the meteorologist at AccuWeather.

Hurricanes caused damage and casualties that displaced hundreds of people from their homes, and the damages can add up to billions of dollars. The most powerful or worst hurricanes to date include the hurricane Andrew, Miami, Okeechobee and the Labour Day Hurricane.

Labour Day Hurricane


The Labour Day Hurricane took place in 1935 and is the strongest hurricane to cause landfall in terms of wind and pressure. The maximum winds were estimated at 185 mph, and the storm surge neared 20 feet. In the Labour Day Hurricane reported fatalities totalled 409 which included 259 veterans of World War one working on the railway connecting the Keys. Every tree and building in Matecumbe Key was completely destroyed.

Hurricane Andrew

It is one of the most recent category five hurricanes in the US, during Hurricane Andrew the winds neared 165 mph in August 1992. More than 25,524 houses in Florida were destroyed not including damaged houses totalling 101,241. During Hurricane Andrew, 99.2% of mobile homes in Homestead were completely destroyed, and the storm tide neared 17 feet at the headquarters of the Burger King. Damaged estimated due to the hurricane was estimated at $25 billion measure to the value of the USD in 1992 in Florida only.

Miami Hurricane


Miami Hurricane took place in 1926 and was one of the most intense cyclists that completely devasted Miami. It tracked from the north to the south of Florida and caused destruction and death. In damages, it caused more than $100.

Hurricane Okeechobee

Hurricane Okeechobee was one of the deadliest, it took place in 1928 and was reported as the most devastating to life near West Palm Beach. The category four hurricane was the 7th strongest and ranked as the worst disaster when it comes to the loss of life. In Florida, there were 2,500 fatalities of which were drowning in Lake Okeechobee. More than 611 fatalities were noted for Belle Glade, and the damage it caused reached $196 billion which was an early start to the great depression.

Hurricane Irma

The powerful hurricane Irma is the most recent and winds of up to 130 mph were sustained which makes hurricane Irma a category 4. During the hurricane, several people suffered power outages caused by the winds. The storm combined with the tide in Southwest Florida and power outages continued for quite some time in Florida. Many left their homes in search of safety for their families, and hundreds of dead fish were found on Interstate 40. It is important for Florida residents to know when to evacuate, the evacuation routes and remain up to date with all events in their area.

Hurricane Florence Evacuees Accommodated by Opening of Hotel Rooms

As hurricane Florence nearer homes near North Carolina, Wilmington many had to pack their cars and head toward Florida’s Walt Disney World. This was also the case for Allison Jordan and her husband who headed toward Florida with two teenage children when they made the decision to go west towards Disney World others decided to go west, and it was chaos, it was weird for Florida hurricanes. Jordan is the director of a preschool in Burgaw, North Carolina.

Florida Accommodated Passenger on Diverted Cruise Ships

Accustomed to evacuating in several other parts of the state, residents of Florida were this week in the unusual position when fleeing north. This was the only option for many when the hurricanes started to threaten their homes. It also included accommodating people on re-routed cruise ships and many seeking hotel rooms was hoping to escape the rage of Hurricane Florence, which arrived in North Carolina on Friday morning.

Carolina Residents Escaped to Florida


By Thursday, state emergency officials revealed that had no idea of how many Carolina residents escaped to Florida and they also had no way in tracking the Carolinians. Numerous hotels in Florida offered special discounts to people fleeing from South Carolina as well as other hurricane evacuees, while Florida opened its ports to cruise ships who needed to make unexpected ports of call. Florida’s Space Coast along with Port Canaveral had visits from two unexpected ships once Hurricane Florence made it completely impossible for them to stop in Bermuda.

Both Norwegian and Royal Caribbean Cruises Stopped in Florida

On Tuesday it was the Norwegian Escape, New York-based cruise that stopped at the port with 4,200 passengers, on Wednesday it was the Baltimore based Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas with passengers totalling 2,000 that was diverted to Port Canaveral and then set to depart again on Friday. The passengers on both the ships booked excursions to the theme parks based in Orlando, the Kennedy Space Centre and the local Beaches.

A reversal in Fortunes in a State Ravaged by Hurricane Irma & Threatened by Hurricane Matthew

Steep discounts were offered by Harris Rosen a Hotelier at all nine of his hotels in the area to accommodate the evacuees or Hurricane Florence. Depending on the hotel the prices per night ranged from $59 up to $79, and pets were welcomed. Rosen is accustomed to offering discounts for the past decades to Floridians escaping the coast and says he get more kisses and hugs during the hurricane season. Jordon, on the other hand, said via phone that it was strange going from a hurricane area to the most magnificent place on earth when she had no idea what Hurricane Florence had in store. She, her husband and two children are making the best of the situation, and the family is trying to enjoy the magic of Disney World even when they not sure when they would be able to go back home, and even while they are in a magical place, their hearts are at their home in North Carolina.