Monday, October 3, 2016

Cleaning chemical mix at Cheese Louise! injures employee, closes Route 28 businesses in Kingston, NY

Cleaning chemical mix at Cheese Louise injures employee, closes Route 28 businesses

By Diane Pineiro-Zucker, Daily Freeman

Posted: 10/01/16, 2:45 PM EDT

TOWN OF KINGSTON, NY.  An overzealous (and ignorant) employee hoping to do an exemplary job cleaning early Saturday at Cheese Louise on state Route 28, wound up mixing bleach and another cleanser, accidentally creating a toxic and potentially explosive stew, according to the store’s owners and the town’s fire chief.

The incident sent the unidentified employee to HealthAlliance Hospital’s Broadway Campus in Kingston, and led Sawkill Fire Department Chief Dave Hoffman to request assistance from the city of Kingston hazardous materials team and closed Route 28 westbound for about three hours.

Exercising extreme caution, co-owner Rick Regan said, he called 911 at about an hour after learning bleach and a lime scale remover had been mixed in a sink at the gourmet cheese shop at 940 state Route 28.

Hoffman said the call came in at 10:49 a.m.

Before calling for help, Regan — who said he has a chemistry background and recognized the potential for disaster — “shooed everyone out of the building, turned on the exhaust and drained the sink.”

A short time later, the employee began feeling sick and was having some difficulty breathing, co-owner Sam McDevitt said.

Both Regan and McDevitt praised the fire department for taking the health and safety of owners, employees and customers seriously. “There’s no such thing as an overreaction. They’re professionals and they’re there to protect us,” Regan said.

“They were respectful, informed and kept us in the loop. They were wonderful,” McDevitt added.

Regan said Cheese Louise is not likely to reopen until midweek, after an inspection of the store’s septic system is complete. He said none of the store’s merchandise was affected.

Hoffman said the Ulster County Department of Health will also need to give the business an all-clear.

All stores in the small plaza were evacuated by firefighters, but some reopened after the road was reopened and others closed for the afternoon, according to Mary Anne Erickson, owner of Bistro-to-Go at 948 Route 28, next door to Cheese Louise.

Erickson said all of Cheese Louise’s employees were hosed down by a hazmat team. “I was shocked. They were concerned the building could explode,” she said. Erickson reopened her business shortly after Route 28 was cleared, at about 2:05 p.m.

The incident also closed the nearby Country Deli at 932 Route 28. Employee Hannan Shaukat said his building was evacuated and another employee was told to shut off the power. Shaukat said the closure on what would have been a busy Saturday was “a big loss for everyone.”

The Wine Hutch, which is directly adjacent to Cheese Louise at 936 Route 28, remained closed Saturday afternoon, although hours posted on the door indicated the shop should have been open for business.

Truck driver killed when a CMV tanker truck pulling two trailers with 10,000 gallons of fuel overturned and erupted in flames damaging Highway 58 in OR

Police: Tanker truck crash explodes in flames, damaging Highway 58

By KVAL Sunday, October 2, 2016

One lane of Highway 58 is open after a tanker truck crashed and exploded late Saturday night. The crash caused damage to the pavement and police are still investigating the scene. Photo courtesy ODOT

OAKRIDGE, Ore. – A major semi-truck crash and explosion covered both lanes of Highway 58 in wreckage and fire late Saturday night. Now, one lane is open and ODOT is working to flag traffic through the area.

According to Oregon State Police, the crash occurred around 10:40 p.m.

Police say a CMV tanker truck pulling two trailers with 10,000 gallons of fuel overturned and erupted in flames. The fuel tanks the truck was pulling exploded, sending wreckage across both lanes of the roadway.

Emergency responders are on scene trying to either locate the driver outside the vehicle, or attempting to identify any remains inside.

ODOT reopened the westbound lane of OR 58 at milepost 20 around 6:20 a.m. Officials are flagging traffic through the area.

ODOT says the tanker truck crash caused extensive pavement damage to the eastbound lane.

Travelers should expect delays until the pavement is repaired.

ODOT says the eastbound lane could remain closed for at least several days while Hazmat cleans the area.

Kyle Hove from OSP said as of 1:30 a.m., the fire was still burning and there were several firefighters on scene.

Overnight, traffic was detoured to OR 126 via the Jasper/Lowell Highway.

Oakridge Police Department and Hazmat are also on scene.


Lakeview man killed in fiery Hwy. 58 fuel tanker crash
Roadway damaged; traffic flagged through area

By: Barney Lerten

Posted: Oct 02, 2016 04:51 PM PDT

Updated: Oct 03, 2016 12:50 PM PDT

Truck carrrying more than 10,000 gallons of fuel burns in weekend crash on Hwy. 58 west of Oakridge (Photo: ODOT)

OAKRIDGE, Ore. - A Lakeview truck driver was killed Saturday night when his double-tanker fuel truck left Oregon Highway 58, overturned and burst into flames, a fire so intense it damaged the roadway, OSP and ODOT reported Monday.

Around 10:40 p.m. Saturday, OSP troopers and emergency personnel responded to the reported crash near milepost 20, about 14 miles northwest of Oakridge, said OSP Sgt. Kyle Hove.

Preliminary information indicates a commercial vehicle pulling double fuel tankers, operated by Kevin W. Smith, 62, of Lakeview, was heading east on the highway when it veered off the right shoulder, overturned and caught fire. It was soon engulfed in flames, and Smith apparently was unable to get out.

Hove said the CMV tanker's fuel tanks exploded and both lanes were covered by the wreckage and the fire.

The highway was closed for about seven hours while fire crews extinguished the fire and investigators completed a reconstruction of the crash scene. ODOT established detours in the area during the closure.

ODOT spokeswoman Angela Beers Seydel said the truck's owner reported it was hauling 10,700 gallons of fuel -- 4,700 gallons of gasoline and 6,000 gallons of diesel. It is unknown how much of that burned in the fire.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Katherine Benenati said soil at the scene was being excavated and they did not know as of Monday morning if any of the fuel had reached a waterway.

ODOT worked with DEQ Sunday on scene. Seydel said contractors were taking over the work Monday and it could last the rest of the week.

OSP was assisted at the scene by several area fire agencies, including the Dexter and Oakridge fire departments, as well as the Oakridge Police Department, Oregon Department of Transportation and Hazmat.

Fugate said the investigation is continuing and more information will be released when available.

Traffic is being flagged through the area, ODOT said Sunday, and there will be short delays in both directions as equipment is moved on and off the highway, due to extensive payment damage to the eastbound lane.

The highway is also known as the Willamette Highway. It runs southeast of Eugene, over Willamette Pass to Central Oregon's Highway 97.

Analogic Corporation’s compensation policies resulted in systemic discrimination against women employed in Assembler 2 and Assembler 3 positions, in violation of Executive Order 11246

US Department of Labor sues Massachusetts technology contractor for discriminatory pay practices against female employees
Compliance review finds discrimination in Analogic Corporation’s pay practices

BOSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit with the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges alleging a Massachusetts technology manufacturer engaged in discriminatory pay practices against female assembly workers at its Peabody headquarters.

A compliance review by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that Analogic Corporation’s compensation policies resulted in systemic discrimination against women employed in Assembler 2 and Assembler 3 positions, in violation of Executive Order 11246. Analogic paid female employees in those positions less than comparable males employed in those positions. The pay disparity remained after adjusting for differences in legitimate, pay-determining factors.

“Our investigation found that Analogic knew or should have known that its total compensation policies discriminated against female assemblers on the basis of gender,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “Federal contractors must ensure taxpayer money never funds employment discrimination. Analogic’s failure is unacceptable, and our action today should serve to remind other federal contractors that we will aggressively pursue compensation discrimination cases.”

The suit also asks that Analogic be ordered to:
  • Modify its compensation system to eliminate compensation disparities between males and females in the Assembler 2 and Assembler 3 positions.
  • Provide back pay, interest, front pay, salary adjustments, fringe benefits, seniority and other benefits to the affected female workers.
  • Train all employees involved in the company’s compensation process regarding its non-discrimination obligations as a federal contractor.
  • Perform an in-depth analysis annually of its total employment process to determine whether and where impediments to equal employment opportunity exist.
  • Develop an internal auditing and reporting system to measure the effectiveness of its affirmative action program.

In the event that – following a favorable ruling on its claims – Analogic fails to provide relief to the affected employees, the department is asking the court to cancel all of Analogic’s government contracts and to debar Analogic from receiving future government contracts until it satisfies the Secretary of Labor that its personnel and employment policies comply with Executive Order 11246.

Analogic designs and manufactures guidance, diagnostic imaging and threat detection technologies. The company holds contracts and performs work for such federal agencies as the National Institutes of Health, U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, Food and Drug Administration and Defense Health Agency. It has approximately 1,500 employees worldwide, including about 900 at the Peabody location.

The full complaint can be viewed here.

In addition to Executive Order 11246, OFCCP enforces Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws, as amended, make it illegal for contractors and subcontractors doing business with the federal government to discriminate in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran. In addition, contractors and subcontractors are prohibited from discriminating against applicants or employees because they have inquired about, discussed or disclosed their compensation or that of others, subject to certain limitations. For more information, please call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit
OFCCP News Release:

Station Builders Inc. facing $291K penalty for 13 safety violations after OSHA investigations find New Jersey contractor failing to provide fall protection for employees at 4 Lehigh Valley worksites

U.S. Department of Labor

October 3, 2016

OSHA investigations find New Jersey contractor failing
to provide fall protection for employees at 4 Lehigh Valley worksites
Station Builders Inc. facing $291K penalty for 13 safety violations

Employer name: Station Builders Inc.
101 Route 130 South, Suite 540
Cinnaminson, New Jersey

Inspection sites: Maple Shade Estates, Lot 36
Easton, Pennsylvania

2020 Washington Blvd.
Easton, Pennsylvania

617 - 619 Irving St.
Allentown, Pennsylvania

1325 Chelsea Ave.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Citations issued: The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued three willful, four repeat, and six serious safety citations on Sept. 23, 2016, to Station Builders Inc., a construction contractor.

Investigation findings: Two inspections in Easton - one initiated on April 8, 2016, and the other on May 25, 2016 - and one inspection in Allentown initiated on June 9, 2016, were in response to OSHA compliance officers observing Station Builder employees in imminent danger conditions. The inspections were also initiated as part of OSHA's Regional Emphasis Program on Fall Hazards in the Construction Industry.

The Bethlehem inspection began June 22, 2016, under OSHA's Construction Targeting Program.

The company did not provide fall protection at all four worksites and received the willful citations.

The repeat citations involved the employer's failure to provide personal protective equipment, improper use of portable ladders at the worksites, and conduct frequent and regular worksite inspections.

OSHA issued the serious citations for lack of fall protection and personal protective equipment, and improper use of portable ladders.

Quote: "Since November 2015, OSHA offices in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have inspected Station Builders' work sites and issued citations 16 times. In each case, the violations included preventable hazards related to lack of fall protection," said Jean Kulp, director of OSHA's Allentown Area Office. "The company can easily eliminate the hazards by using readily available and reusable personal protective equipment, or by making simple modifications to its work practices, yet it continues to expose workers to dangerous conditions. This will not be tolerated by OSHA"

Proposed penalties: $291,997.

The citations can be viewed at:

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Allentown Area Office at 267-429-7542.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

# # #

Southern Counties Oil Co., known as SC Fuels, will pay a $75,000 penalty for violations of federal oil pollution prevention regulations at its facility in San Jose, California

U.S. EPA requires San Jose oil storage facility to improve plans, reduce risk of spills into San Francisco Bay
Contact Information:
Soledad Calvino (

SAN FRANCISCO - Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a proposed settlement with Southern Counties Oil Co., known as SC Fuels, for violations of federal oil pollution prevention regulations at its facility in San Jose, Calif. SC Fuels will pay a $75,000 penalty and has come into compliance with the law.

SC Fuels operates a petroleum bulk storage and distribution plant located 500 feet from Lower Silver Creek, a tributary of Coyote Creek, which flows into San Francisco Bay. A March 2015 inspection by EPA found that the company violated the Clean Water Act's Oil Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rules by:
  • failing to construct adequate secondary containment (dikes and berms) around tanks to prevent oil from entering nearby waters in case of a spill
  • failing to keep accurate descriptions of the locations and contents of its oil tanks
  • failing to complete inspection and tank integrity testing on a regular schedule
  • failing to obtain approval of the facility’s spill prevention, control, and countermeasure plan

“Companies operating near our waterways must implement detailed oil spill prevention plans,” said Kathleen Johnson, Enforcement Division Director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Today’s action is taken to protect San Francisco Bay from potential spills.”

EPA's proposed Clean Water Act settlement for SC Fuels is subject to a 30-day public comment period. Information on how to provide comment on this proposed settlement can be found at:

The goal of EPA's oil pollution prevention regulations is to prevent oil from reaching navigable waters and adjoining shorelines, and to ensure that companies are able to adequately respond to and contain discharges of oil. The regulation requires onshore oil storage facilities to develop and implement plans and to establish procedures, methods, and equipment in case a spill occurs.

For more information on the Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure rule, please visit:

Eco Services Operations Corp., in Carson, Calif., to pay a $106,000 civil penalty for violations of federal laws related to a large release of 65,049 pounds of sulfur dioxide in 2013

EPA Fines Carson Facility for Safety Lapses That Led to Toxic Air Leak
Contact Information:
Nahal Mogharabi (

LOS ANGELES—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with Eco Services Operations Corp., located in Carson, Calif., for violations of federal laws related to a large release of 65,049 pounds of sulfur dioxide in 2013. The company will pay a $106,000 civil penalty and has to come into compliance.

“It is crucial for companies to take all necessary steps to maintain safe operations,” said Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “EPA will continue to do whatever it takes to protect workers and residents from accidental releases.”

On November 18, 2013, the facility released 65,049 pounds of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere over a five-hour period during start-up operations and did not notify the appropriate officials until eight hours after the release began. Employees at a neighboring business called emergency responders, reporting upper respiratory pain and eye irritation. Eleven of these workers were transported to local hospitals where they were treated and released that same evening.

EPA’s 2014 investigation found that the facility failed to follow proper operating procedures, failed to immediately cease operations when multiple alarms sounded, failed to properly train employees relating to alarm response, and failed to conduct a thorough pre-startup safety routine which resulted in a valve that should have been opened, to remain closed. As a result the facility failed to maintain a safe facility and minimize the consequences of the release. The design and maintenance failures that led to the release violated the Clean Air Act, and the failure to provide immediate notice to officials of the release violated the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act.

In addition to the civil penalty the company has taken the following actions to return into compliance with federal laws and prevent another accidental release including:

• updating the startup checklist and standard operating procedures;

• conducting training for employees on the updated procedures; and

• adding an additional alarm to indicate if the process is not working properly.

Eco Services Operations Corp., located at 20720 S. Wilmington Ave. in the City of Carson, produces and regenerates sulfuric acid used by nearby refineries and other industrial facilities. The facility is primarily surrounded by other industrial businesses, and is less than a half-mile from residential communities

The federal Clean Air Act’s General Duty Clause requires owners and operators of facilities producing, processing, handling, or storing hazardous substances to design and maintain a safe facility to prevent releases, and to minimize the consequences of accidental releases when they do occur. Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act requires companies to immediately report unregulated releases that exceed the reportable quantity threshold.

Sulfur dioxide is a toxic gas that can cause death or permanent injury after very short exposure to small quantities. It is also a significant contributor to acid rain, smog and haze.

For more information about Community Right-to-Know, please visit:

For more information on the General Duty Clause of the Clean Air Act, please visit:

Miami Beach yacht thief crashes an 80-foot into several boats; $3.2 million yacht stabilized by police and towed away

By David J. Neal

First requirement of a vessel or vehicle thief: know how to drive. Sunday night’s attempted yacht thief in Miami Beach failed that crucial skill.

This criminal shortcoming left an 80-foot yacht listing in the water after crashing into several boats, then Miami Beach Marina’s dock pier L. Miami Beach Police said another boat theft was discovered at the marina later. No one has been arrested for either incident.

The first happened around 11:30 p.m., when a stream of 911 calls complained of a large boat crashing into other boats at the marina, at 300 Alton Road near the southern end of South Beach. Police found an 80-foot yacht crashed into dock pier L and “substantial damage to numerous docked boats,” according to Miami Beach Police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez.

Witnesses told police the poor-driving thief jumped into the water. Miami Fire Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll said divers searched for 30 to 40 minutes, but were called out when the boat started sinking. Rodriguez said police were able to stabilize and tow the boat, valued at $3.2 million according to Herald news partner CBS4.

Home flood insurance for high risk properties may be cancelled

Home flood insurance for high risk properties may be cancelled
Marc October 3, 2016 

Home flood insurance for high risk properties may be cancelled
Congress is currently looking at the National Flood Insurance Program and coverage for troublesome locations.

The United States Congress may soon take the axe to home flood insurance coverage for properties that are regularly flooded. It is looking specifically at the way communities deal with some of the properties that flood the most. They are the locations that make the most frequent National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims and receive the most payouts. 

New bipartisan legislation could require communities to handle repeated loss patterns from flooding.

The existence of home flood coverage for properties that are regularly troublesome is among the top arguments against NFIP. Critics often point directly to the expense caused by a very small percentage of the total number of properties with coverage. The new bill was sponsored by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ed Royce (R-CA). This bill will likely be brought into the federally backed flood insurance program in 2017. 

The goal is to reduce the impact of home flood insurance payouts on properties continually flooding. 

According to Blumenauer, “Repetitive flood loss continues to place communities and families at risk, while shortchanging the federal taxpayer and all those who pay flood insurance premiums.” Though NFIP had been supporting itself quite steadily, Hurricane Katrina sank it into a deep debt back in 2005. Before it could even hope to recover, Superstorm Sandy struck it with another massive financial blow in 2012.

The repeatedly flooding properties currently comprise an estimated 1 percent of the total NFIP policies. However, those same properties are responsible for between 25 and 30 percent of the flood insurance claims that program pays. Moreover, those same properties also make up about $12 billion of the total $23 billion in debt still carried by the National Flood Insurance Program. These statistics were produced by Phyllis Cuttino, the Pew Charitable Trusts director of the flood-prepared communities initiative.

“These are properties that file multiple claims and that are built and rebuilt again and again,” said Cuttino. She explained that these are clearly the properties that require some change in terms of their home flood insurance coverage in the program.

Unattended stove and removed batteries from smoke detector are causes and factors of 2-alarm fire in Rochester, New York that injured one firefighter

One firefighter injured in Park Ave. apartment fire

October 01, 2016 10:08 AM

The Rochester Fire Department says that one firefighter was injured in a second alarm fire that broke out at a Park Avenue apartment early Saturday morning.

The Fire Department says they were sent to 85 Park Avenue shortly after 1:00 a.m. When they got there, they say that the fire was in a third floor apartment. Fire crews fought the flames and helped people inside the structure get out safely.

They say one firefighter suffered injuries that were not life threatening and was taken to the hospital. At the moment, they say that there are no reported civilian injured as a result of the fire – the cause of which was determined to be cooking on the stove left unattended.

The Rochester Fire Department says that the smoke alarm inside the apartment was not functional because the battery had been taken out. The Fire Department replaced the battery, and want to remind people to have a working smoke alarm with a battery that is functional. They also say that smoke alarms should fall within the ten-year recommended date of use. This can be found on the back of the alarm. 

The Fire Department says that RTS and Red Cross helped provide food and temporary shelter while the scene was alleviated and assessed, and that the Red Cross is going to provide additional help to the people occupying six apartments that were negatively affected by the blaze.


Rochester N.Y. - A firefighter was injured and a number of tenants were evacuated early Saturday morning after an apartment fire on Park Avenue.

Crews responded to the fire on the third floor of the apartment and determined that the fire was caused by unattended cooking on a stove.

Casey Gomes lives on the first floor, and tells us the damage was contained to the middle of the building.

"There was melted laundry boxes; a lot of the floor and ceiling had to be gutted because it had spread. Everything was black and burnt."

Because of the size of the structure and potential complexity of the fire, it was upgraded to a second alarm. But Gomes said it wasn't the sound of alarms going off that alerted him to the fire.

"About 1:30 I heard a lot of people on the fire escape," he said. "I decided to get curious and open the door and I could smell some smoke."

According to Gomes, each apartment has at least one smoke detector. He is wondering why others in the building didn't go off.

"The way the layout of the building is, there are smoke alarms down each hallway but none of those had went off. Most of us didn't know really what was going on really until the damage had been done."

The owner of the building told 13WHAM he is not aware of any issues with smoke detectors. He also said while they try to check on them, it is the responsibility of the tenant to make sure they are working.

The Rochester Fire Department says the occupant of the apartment also did not have a working smoke alarm because the battery had been removed from the detector.

Firefighters want to remind those in the community that it's essential to be aware of the importance of a working smoke detector. It should have a functional battery, one that is within the ten year recommended user date, which is located on the back of the detector.

According to New York State's Attorney General, landlords are required to put in working smoke detectors, but it is up to the tenants to make sure they function properly.

No civilians were hurt during the fire, and the injured firefighter was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Red Cross and RTS assisted occupants with temporary shelter and food while the scene was being assessed.

An unattended and illegal hibachi-style grill used by students sparked a blaze at a Dartmouth College dormitory over the weekend.

Dartmouth College dorm fire blamed on student's hibachi-style grill

Firefighters battle a blaze at Morton Hall on the Dartmouth College campus on Oct. 1, 2016.
CBS Boston

HANOVER, N.H. - The New Hampshire Fire Marshal’s Office says an unattended hibachi-style grill used by students sparked a blaze at a Dartmouth College dormitory over the weekend.

The fire broke out shortly after midnight Saturday at Morton Hall. Crews battled the flames for about six hours.

Investigators said Sunday the charcoal grill had been left unattended at the time of the fire.

Officials say all of the dorm’s 300 residents escaped without injuries; but about 70 now need new housing.

CBS Boston reports that two Hanover firefighters sustained minor injuries but were able to keep battling the flames.

The school’s website says charcoal grills are among items not allowed in student dorm rooms.

The investigation continues. 


4-alarm fire breaks out at Dartmouth College; dozens displaced
Fire started around midnight in Morton Hall, officials say
UPDATED 8:22 PM EDT Oct 01, 2016

HANOVER, N.H. —The design of a Dartmouth dormitory created a challenge for crews trying to put out a four-alarm fire Saturday morning.

An alarm just after midnight alerted firefighters to the flames at Morton Hall. Students were already evacuating the building when firefighters arrived to discover near-zero visibility on the fourth floor.

The first crew on scene reported fire on the roof, but a 25-foot space under the building's vaulted copper roof made it hard to get the flames under control. It eventually took crews from more than 10 towns in New Hampshire and Vermont to put out the fire. Two firefighters received minor injuries but remain on duty.

Morton Hall, part of a cluster of residential buildings on East Wheelock Street, is uninhabitable right now because of the extensive smoke and water damage. About 71 students live in the building. The Dartmouth College newspaper reports that a meeting Saturday afternoon will reassign the affected students to new housing.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Morton Hall is currently uninhabitable as a result of extensive smoke and water damage caused by a four-alarm fire that started at 12:05 a.m., according to a Hanover Fire Department press release.

The press release did not state the cause or origin of the fire, noting the information will be released when available. The New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Hanover Police Department are currently investigating the fire. Two firefighters who sustained minor injuries remained on duty at the site.

The press release said the fire was difficult to fight because of the height of the building and the “void space construction of the heavy gauge copper roofing material.”

No one was injured in the fire and students were evacuated prior to the arrival of the fire department. The initial firefighters requested first alarm assistance and began an interior fire attack. They conducted a search and rescue operation on the upper two floors, reporting near zero visibility on the fourth floor as a result of thick black smoke and high heat conditions. They reported moderate smoke on the third floor.

As soon as Hanover Fire Chief Martin McMillan arrived, he immediately requested second-alarm assistance.

Several New Hampshire and Vermont fire departments, including Lyme, Lebanon, Enfield, Claremont, Hartford, Norwich, Thetford, Bradford, Windsor and Hartland assisted the Hanover department. The Lyme FAST Squad and Upper Valley Ambulance were on site to assist firefighters. The American Red Cross helped all responding agencies at the scene.


Town of Hanover
Fire Department
48 Lyme Road
Hanover, NH 03755
Telephone: (603) 643-3424
Fax: (603) 643-0741

Press Release
Date: Saturday – October 1, 2016 Time: 00:05 hrs.

The Hanover Fire Department was dispatched this morning to the Dartmouth College campus for an automatic alarm in a four story masonry dormitory. Morton Hall is located at 15 East Wheelock Street and is one of several buildings that form a cluster of resident halls. The initial fire company officer reported a fire on the roof and requested a first-alarm assignment.

Dartmouth students were evacuating the building prior to the arrival of the Hanover Fire Department. This undergraduate resident hall houses approximately 70 students. Firefighters were able to initiate an interior fire attack and conducted search and rescue operation on the upper two floors. Fire crews reported a moderate smoke on the third floor, and near zero visibility on the fourth floor due to thick black smoke and high heat conditions. Hanover Fire Chief Martin McMillan arrived on-scene an immediately requested a  second-alarm assignment based on the reports from the interior fire companies,
the occupancy of the building, and time of day.

This was an extremely difficult and complicated fire to fight due to the height of the building, and the void space construction of the heavy gauge copper roofing material. The design of the building included approximately 25’ vaulted ceilings that prevented the firefighters from exposing the fire that was burning in the roof structure from the interior. A total of four alarms were required to bring this stubborn fire under control.

The Hanover Fire Department was assisted by several New Hampshire and Vermont fire departments. They included Lyme, Lebanon, Enfield, Claremont, Hartford, Norwich, Thetford, Bradford, Windsor and Hartland. The Lyme FAST Squad and Upper Valley Ambulance responded to the College to assist firefighting personnel. The American Red Cross provided support to all responding agencies at the scene.

The building is currently uninhabitable due to extensive smoke and water damage caused by the fire. The fire is currently under investigation by the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Hanover Police Department. Two firefighter sustained minor injuries; both remained on-duty.

Dartmouth College officials are expected to issue a press release regarding the students displaced by this fire. No civilian injuries occurred. Pertinent information regarding the investigation of the cause and origin of the fire will be released when available.

Please contact the Hanover Fire Department if you require additional information
regarding this incident.
Martin W. McMillan EFO
Fire Chief
Emergency Management Director
Hanover Fire Department
48 Lyme Road
Hanover, NH 03755
Work: (603) 640-3340
Cell: (585) 755-7696
Fax: (603) 643-0741

Police slams a handcuffed man's face into the windshild of their cruiser so hard that the windshield cracked; police claim he was resisting arrest in Lorain, Ohio; the Feds are suing the police.

Dashcam video shows officers crack windshield with suspect's face

Newly released dashcam footage from a 2014 arrest raises questions about use of force at one Ohio police department. (KTRK)

Monday, October 03, 2016 09:16AM
LORAIN, Ohio -- During a 2014 arrest, a man was slammed against a police cruiser so hard his face cracks the windshield, according to newly released video that is part of a federal lawsuit against an Ohio police department.

Officers, however, say the video only tells part of the story.

"Disturbing. Shocking. I think it's kind of difficult to watch," remarked defense attorney Mark Petroff, who represents 30-year-old Pele Smith, the man whose face was slammed against the windshield by officer Zachary Ferenec so forcefully that the glass shattered.

"I don't know what type of force it takes to break a windshield, but i would imagine it's pretty substantial," Petroff told WEWS-TV.

During the altercation, Smith's chin made impact with the vehicle. He went to the hospital, but did not need stitches.

Smith was being arrested over suspicions of drug trafficking, for which he has been convicted before.

A police spokesman was advised by city lawyers not to speak on-camera, but said off-camera that officers had to use greater force because Smith was resisting arrest. They said the slam was not intentional.

"It's not an accident. You watch the video and you certainly will form the same opinion. In fact, it looks like he was lifted up and slammed into the windshield," adds Petroff.

Smith is suing the department for monetary damages.


LORAIN, Ohio - Newly released dashcam video shows an officer in Ohio slamming a handcuffed suspect onto a police cruiser with such force that the man's face shattered the windshield.

32-year-old Pele Smith has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Lorain, accusing several officers of excessive force.

"It’s unbelievable, it’s sad, it’s frightening that an individual, while in handcuffs, has something like that happen to them,” said Mark Petroff, Smith's attorney.

Though the dashcam video was just released, the incident happened back in September of 2014.

Officers were investigating a neighborhood for drug offenses when they stopped Smith for jaywalking.

According to WKYC, Smith had previously been convicted on drug charges and for possessing a firearm.

An officer at the scene believed Smith swallowed some drugs, and then say he became uncooperative.

Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera released a statement to WKYC, stating that the video could be misunderstood and does not tell the whole story, asking people to not rush to judgement. "Although it is not easy to watch, police officers explain all of their actions in their police reports," the statement reads.

As part of a plea deal, Smith received probation after pleading guilty to charges of tampering with evidence, obstructing official business, and resisting arrest.

A speeding and reckless female driver was critically injured after rear-ending the parked Paramedic Engine E-94 on Interstate 15 near Wildomar, California

The driver of the vehicle suffered extensive injuries and required extrication from the mangled vehicle. Photo credit: CAL FIRE/Riverside Fire

A woman was seriously after crashing into a pumper on Interstate 15 near Wildomar.

CAL FIRE/Riverside Engine 94 responded along with American Medical Response and the California Highway Patrol responded to a crash the interstate near Railroad Canyon at 7:04 a.m.

While crews were treating a patient at the crash scene, a vehicle slammed into to the back of the pumper.

Firefighters had to extricate the driver of the vehicle, according to a statement from CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire.

The driver sustained serious injuries and was transported to the hospital by American Medical Response.

No firefighters were injured.

The California High Patrol is investigating the cause of the collision.


WILDOMAR: Fire engine on emergency call struck by motorist on I-15
October 2, 2016 Trevor Montgomer

The Chevrolet that smashed into the fire engine was completely destroyed in the collision. IE Firefighter photo

WILDOMAR – A Cal Fire/Riverside County fire engine sustained major damage while working on a traffic collision call when it was struck by a vehicle on Interstate 15 in Wildomar Sunday morning, Oct. 2.

Firefighters were providing medical aid for those injured in the first collision when it was struck from behind. The first accident was reported just before 7 a.m.

Paramedic Engine E-94 from the City of Lake Elsinore’s Canyon Hills Fire Station 94 was parked on the right side of the freeway in a position to provide protection for firefighters as they worked.

While firefighters were working with the victims injured in the first collision a Chevrolet HHR traveling at high-speed smashed into the back end of the rig, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department officials.

Paramedic Engine E-94 sustained major damage in the rear end collision. Tommy Voegele photo

The two accidents happened on the freeway near the Olive Street underpass, which is south of Railroad Canyon and north of Bundy Canyon Roads

The second collision – that occurred at about 7:25 a.m. – caused a Sig Alert that shut down all southbound lanes of freeway traffic for several hours, according to a California Highway Patrol incident log.

16 firefighters from three engine companies and one truck company as well as a fire investigator and three battalion commanders responded to the scene after the accident involving the fire engine, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Jody Hagemann.

The driver of the Chevrolet that struck the fire engine was trapped inside their vehicle and had to be extricated from his wrecked vehicle. Paramedics treated the victim at the scene before they transported him by ground ambulance to a nearby hospital. The victim sustained major injuries, according to Hagemann.

The Chevrolet was unrecognizable after the accident. Tommy Voegele photo

“(This is) a reminder of why we use our apparatus as a barrier on emergency incidents,” Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department Unit & Fire Chief John Hawkins wrote after the traffic collision.

As a precautionary measure one firefighter was taken to a hospital for evaluation, according to Hawkins.

Canyon Hills Station 94 is located on Railroad Canyon Road just outside the community of Canyon Hills. The station serves the southeast area of the City of Lake Elsinore, portions of Wildomar and Canyon Lake. Paramedic Engine 94 was the stations primary engine before it was destroyed in the collision.

Tommy Voegele, a tow truck driver who responded to the accident scene, later wrote on social media, “This morning, these firefighters were just doing their jobs and helping some people who got into an accident when another car hit the back of their fire truck.”

“The driver of the Chevrolet hit the fire engine so hard his motor flew out of his car and landed about 100 feet away,” Voegele explained. “Everyone needs to open their eyes and pay better attention.”

The impact was so severe the Chevrolet’s engine was thrown over 100 feet after the collision. Tommy Voegele photo

“It’s easy,” Voegele explained, “just slow down and move over for emergency vehicles, police officers and tow trucks.”

“Luckily, none of the firefighters where seriously injured,” Voegele said.

The I-15 on-ramp at Railroad Canyon Road was reopened at about 9:30 a.m. All other lanes of traffic were reopened just before 11 a.m.

California High Patrol officers are investigating the cause of the collision. Officers have not yet ruled out alcohol or drug intoxication as contributing factors in the collision.

KILLING THEM SLOWLY: Illegal trade is accelerating the extinctions of wild plant species, and more transparent value chains would help tackle this illegal trade

Transparency Needed to Curb Illegal Plant Trade

By MarEx 2016-10-02 19:15:30

Illegal trade is accelerating the extinctions of wild plant species, and more transparent value chains would help tackle this illegal trade, an UNCTAD official said on Friday on the sidelines of the world's largest conference on the wildlife trade.

Worth up to $258 billion, the illegal wildlife trade is often more associated with poached elephants than stolen orchids, but rare plant species are being increasingly stolen from the wild and sold for their beauty or medicinal properties. Besides robbing the earth of its natural resources, this illegal trade deprives communities of livelihoods, and governments of income. The United States alone seizes around 5,600 illegally trafficked plants a year.

"We know this is a substantial problem," says Lorena Jaramillo, an economist with UNCTAD's BioTrade Initiative. "We see wild species disappearing and we know they're being illegally harvested, but it's hard to trace them without full visibility along the value chains."

Some 30,000 plant species are now protected by CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, whose members are meeting from 24 September to October 4 in Johannesburg.

To support the discussions, UNCTAD prepared two studies in consultation with the CITES Secretariat and member countries. The first study looks at ornamental plants, including orchids and Cycas from Latin America. The second looks at medicinal plants, such as agarwood, from the Mekong subregion.

"Wild plant species are difficult to distinguish from those which are legally grown in nurseries. This makes it hard to prevent the "laundering" of illegally sourced plants, especially in the traditional medicine market, whose value chains can be long and complex," says Jaramillo.

Researchers found significant inconsistencies in data on exports and imports. These discrepancies, for example, represented almost 20 percent of the orchid trade and 33% of the trade in Cycas from the Andean region for the period 2010-2014. In the case of agarwood, used for pricey perfumes and traditional Chinese medicines, Laos reported no exports during the period 2005-2014, yet over 15 tons of Lao agarwood showed up in the imports and re-exports of other countries.

"It's hard to say with certainty what's going on," Jaramillo says. "The missing data may represent illegal harvest, but they may also show simply that data is being reported differently."

"What the studies do show, though, is the urgent need for a clear, common traceability framework, with uniform information, to avoid a proliferation of systems which may not be compatible," Jaramillo adds.

The studies also call for more attention on domestic supply chains. Laundering illegally harvested species is easiest in the earlier stages of the value chains, when the plants change hands before export.

HURRICANE MATTHEW: The slow-moving nature of the hurricane will translate to days rather than hours of pounding surf, high winds and heavy rain on the islands

Powerful Hurricane Matthew to unleash life-threatening flooding in Haiti, Cuba and Bahamas
By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist
October 3, 2016; 9:49 AM ET

Dangerous Hurricane Matthew will bring great risk to lives and property from Haiti and Cuba to the Bahamas this week.

Matthew will continue to weave a general northward path around the large islands of the northern Caribbean through Wednesday.

"Fluctuations in strength, ranging from Category 4 to Category 2 status are likely as the hurricane is influenced by the mountainous islands and other atmospheric conditions," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

The powerful hurricane will pass close to or directly over the western tip of Haiti and the eastern tip of Cuba. In these areas, life-threatening conditions are likely, since the most powerful part of the hurricane will approach. Impacts will range from flooding rainfall and storm surge flooding to mudslides, high winds and dangerous seas and surf into the middle of the week.

However, flooding rainfall and mudslides will extend 100 miles or more to the east of the storm over the mountainous terrain of Hispaniola and can occur as far west as Jamaica and central Cuba. Drenching, gusty squalls can occur as far east as Puerto Rico.

The latest indications are that Matthew will take more of a northwestward path beginning around Wednesday and continuing through Friday.

"Beyond the large islands of the Caribbean, much of the Bahamas are likely to be in the direct path of Matthew from Wednesday into Friday," Kottlowski said.

The Turks and Caicos may also face significant impacts by the hurricane as it passes to their west.

The slow-moving nature of the hurricane will translate to days rather than hours of pounding surf, high winds and heavy rain on the islands. More than 20 inches of rain can fall near and east of the center of the storm, especially over mountainous terrain.

People are encouraged to make preparations now and heed evacuation orders as they are given.

Great disruption to travel will also occur in the region.

Cruise, freight and charter airline interests in the region should be prepared to change itineraries until the storm has passed. Commercial airline delays and cancellations are likely as the storm approaches.

Many of these areas will be in need of assistance in the wake of the storm. Power may be out for days. Food, fresh water and medical items may be in short supply following the storm.

As Matthew turns northwestward across the Bahamas, seas and surf along the coast of the southeastern United States will build and become dangerous later this week. How serious conditions become this weekend and beyond in the U.S. will depend on the path Matthew takes.