Monday, January 30, 2017

A four-alarm fire burned through a large warehouse complex in Yonkers that includes the historic Alexander Mills carpet factory.

Monday, January 30, 2017 11:53AM
YONKERS, Westchester County (WABC) -- A four-alarm fire burned through a large warehouse complex in Yonkers that includes the historic Alexander Mills carpet factory.

Flames shot through the roof of the warehouse on Lake Avenue at Nepperhan Avenue after the fire broke out at about 4 a.m. Monday.

The warehouse houses several businesses.

Firefighters battled the blaze from the outside. There was heavy fire on the third, fourth and fifth floors.

No injuries were reported.

Members of the YoHo Artist Community work out of two of buildings on the site.

The complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Local roads around Nepperhan and Lake Avenues were closed for fire department activity.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

"Exceptional drought" -- has been entirely erased from California for the first time in three years.

California out of 'exceptional drought' category after recent storms

(Left) A map of California from the United States Drought Monitor. (Right) A car drives through a flooded street in Van Nuys on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. (United States Drought Monitor | AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

Updated 52 mins ago
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The series of powerful storms to recently douse California has lessened the state's drought.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the worst level of drought -- "exceptional drought" -- has been entirely erased from California for the first time in three years.

Just 2.16 percent of the state is in "extreme drought," the group states.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map indicates the 2.16 percent includes portions of Santa Barbara, Ventura, Kern and Los Angeles counties.

At its height, nearly 60 percent of the state was under "exceptional drought."

During this wet season, Los Angeles has received 216 percent of normal rainfall to date.

Despite this, California's top water regulator is not ready to lift emergency conservation measures enacted during the height of the drought.

"It makes the most sense to continue steady as she goes," State Water Resources Control Board chairwoman Felicia Marcus told The Associated Press after the latest in a series of storms brought more snow to the mountains and record-breaking rainfall to parts of the Southland.

Marcus and the other four board members will decide Feb. 7 whether to extend measures requiring local water districts to enforce conservation rules, provide monthly reports on water usage and show they have a three-year water supply.

January typically is the wettest month in California. Marcus said in interviews this week that she is concerned that subsequent months could turn out dry and that California could again be forced to scramble to save water if the restrictions are not kept in place.

California has endured more than five years of drought. In January 2014, Gov. Jerry Brown declared an emergency, later ordering residents statewide to cut water use by 25 percent - the first mandate of its kind in the state's history.

4-alarm fire in Flushing, Queens that destroyed 15 business was caused by cooking on a stove


CeFaan Kim, Eyewitness News
Thursday, January 26, 2017 10:03AM
FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- The fire that ripped through a row of businesses in Queens Wednesday was accidental, FDNY fire marshals said Thursday.

Investigators say it was sparked by a stove fire, caused by cooking.

Firefighters battled the large fire Wednesday afternoon and into the night in a shopping district that spread to at least 15 stores.

The fire broke out at about 2 p.m. on Roosevelt Avenue near the intersection of Main Street in Flushing. It took until after 8 p.m. for the fire to be extinguished.

The fire generated a four-alarm response.

Fire officials said there was a partial collapse of the rear roof.

"This is a difficult fire, a lot of smoke. Pockets of fire travel to different occupancies," said Chief Joseph Pfeifer, FDNY.

Here's a look at photos showing flames shooting from the roof:

PHOTOS: Large fire in Flushing, Queens

Fire officials said the fire was in the duct work of the building, and that's how they believe it spread to the second building and beyond.

Witnesses described a genuine fear for firefighters safety. It took more than 175 of them to get the blaze under control. A store sign collapsed just moments after they entered the building.

"Just shock. They're inside and the fire is just getting bigger. So I was afraid for them," said Chris Urban, a witness. "And then they were getting the saw and cutting the sign as fast as possible."

Three firefighters are being evaluated at the hospital for minor injuries.

"These are local mom and pop stores, it's absolutely heartbreaking. It's not just the owners. There are dozens if not hundreds of workers at these 15 stores. These are working families, everyday people that rely on those jobs to put food on the table. So they're nervous, they're scared," State Assemblyman Ron Kim said.

The fire disrupted service on the 7 train line for hours, but it resumed service with delays just before 11:30 p.m. Several buses remain detoured, including Q48, Q12 and Q15.

Here's video from the Eyewitness News reporter CeFaan Kim at the scene:

Officials say the timing of the fire was especially bad, coming less than two weeks before the community celebrates the Lunar New Year.

It's a celebration that usually brings a big economic boost to the neighborhood.

Driver killed after a 50-pound dumbbell crashed through windshield on NJ Turnpike

Man injured when dumbbell crashed through windshield on NJ Turnpike dies

Rescuers were on the scene of a crash on the NJ Turnpike on January 9, 2017.

Thursday, January 26, 2017 09:48AM
OLDMANS TWP., New Jersey -- A man who suffered serious injuries when a 50-pound dumbbell crashed through the windshield of his SUV earlier this month has died.

State police said Wednesday that 75-year-old Jack DeCarlo died from the injuries he suffered in the Jan. 9 incident. Additional details were not released.

Rescuers were on the scene of a crash on the NJ Turnpike on January 9, 2017.

Authorities say the Hamilton Township man was driving south on the New Jersey Turnpike near Oldmans Township when the dumbbell hit the SUV's windshield. The vehicle then veered off the road.

DeCarlo suffered serious injuries but was conscious when he was flown to a hospital. His wife, who was in the car with him, suffered minor injuries.

State police are still trying to determine where the dumbbell came from and if it was intentionally thrown at the SUV.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

six-story building on Winthrop Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn, NYC on fire; 100 residents evacuated

(@nycfirewire )

Eyewitness News
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 11:36PM
PROSPECT LEFFERTS GARDENS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Dozens of residents were evacuated from burning apartment building in Brooklyn on Tuesday night.

The fire stated between the roof and the ceiling of the six-story building on Winthrop Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens around 8 p.m.

The three-alarm fire then spread to the front of the building. Firefighters had to cut holes into the roof of the building to extinguish the fire.

Fortunately, no one was injured, but some 100 residents were evacuated from the building.

It's not yet known when they can return to their apartments. The Red Cross is on the scene assisting displaced residents.

"Brooklyn *77-22-1092**2nd Alarm** 35 Winthrop St off Flatbush Ave. Fire top floor 6 story non-fireproof, extended to the cockloft"  Source: @nycfirewire

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The result of record-setting California storms: mudslides have closed roads, damaged vehicles and homes and left residents on edge

Trough five years of severe drought, El Capitan Canyon above the Pacific Ocean near Goleta endured bone-dry conditions that at times seemed like they would never end.

Then, on Friday, the skies opened up. Nearly 2 inches of rain dropped in a single hour in the Santa Ynez Mountains.

So a creek that had once disappeared came roaring alive, full of mud, brush and broken trees pouring from the burned slopes of the Sherpa fire in the summer.

Five cabins were lifted off their foundations and swept down the creek. The muddy torrent claimed 22 vehicles. One of the cabin’s remains were found south of the 101 Freeway. Nearly two dozen people had to be rescued, including one trapped in a car, said Santa Barbara County fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni. The remains of five smashed vehicles floated all the way down to the beach. 

What happened in a matter of minutes at the campground is emblematic of the drought-to-deluge cycle that has always been at the heart of California’s climate. All it can take is an intense amount of rain in a short amount of time to create damaging flows of mud and debris that can kill people and destroy buildings.

The flows are part of nature. But the situation has become more dangerous as humans came to inhabit these paths of destruction.

“There’s a competition between the growth of the mountains and the erosion from the rainstorms,” U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist Jason Kean said. “They’re in this constant battle.”

Flood waters and a debris flow sweep away cabins and vehicles at El Capitan Canyon Resort & Campground in Santa Barbara County Friday. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire)

California’s dramatic shift in the last few months — from extreme dryness to some of the strongest storms in a decade — has brought mudslides that have closed roads, damaged vehicles and homes and left residents on edge. On Friday night, Highway 17 — the key route between Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz — was closed for hours after sliding mud and a fallen tree blocked all southbound lanes, causing a commuter nightmare.

One Sierra highway alone has endured nearly 20 major slides. And a rare warm winter storm two weeks ago sent rains that deposited 10,000 cubic yards of decomposed granite that shut down all westbound lanes of Interstate 80 west of Lake Tahoe for more than 12 hours.

“It’s truly a battle,” Caltrans spokeswoman Liza Whitmore said.

The situation is expected to get worse in Southern California on Sunday, when a storm — which could be the most powerful to strike the region since 2010 — moves in. Officials have warned of mudslides and mudflows.

Why do landslides happen during a storm?

In a burned area, a wildfire can make the soils repellent to water, creating a floodlike flow on the ground that picks up rock and debris, Kean said.

In an area that has not burned, soil can become saturated. Pressure builds up underground, and soil starts moving and begins picking up mud and debris as it starts flowing downhill.

Water rushing down with only mud is called a mud flow. If the flow picks up rocks, branches and sometimes massive boulders, that’s called a debris flow.

This debris flow on Jan. 8, 2017 was caused by a warm winter storm that dumped rain on the Sierra, sending a flow of water and decomposed granite to wash over Interstate 80 at Donner Summit. (California Highway Patrol)

Mud and debris flows are types of shallow landslides, generally defined as less than 15 feet deep.

Another type of shallow landslide involves a saturated hillside that collapses but does not move very far, such as one that buries a roadway with dirt and rocks from a neighboring slope. They can happen up to an hour after a burst of intense rain. “There were widespread shallow landslides as recently as 2005” in Southern California, Kean said.

What’s the easiest type of landslide to predict?

Landslides that strike in recently burned areas are the easiest to predict, as wildfires have burned away roots of trees and vegetation that had kept soils in place.

Sometimes, authorities have accurately predicted when debris flows will occur, based on forecast rainfall rates, and have called for evacuations of homes before the rivers of mud and debris begin flowing.

Can debris flow still catch people off guard?

Yes. In 2010, the winter after the worst fire in L.A. County history, a debris flow — which one resident described like a “Niagara Falls” — flowed down La CaƱada Flintridge’s northernmost neighborhood when a 10-ton boulder clogged a critical basin, plugging up the drain like a giant stopper. More than 40 homes were damaged.

It came as a surprise because the storm was supposed to be fast moving, but unexpectedly stalled and dumped rain at an alarming rate. The forecast that authorities had relied on in the days leading up to the three-day storm had called for a light to moderate rains. No evacuations had been ordered.

A debris flow hit La Canada Flintridge in 2010. Mud and debris came rushing through an entire house on Manistee Drive. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

How much rainfall is needed to trigger mud or debris flow?

In Southern California’s unburned areas, 10 inches of rainfall during the winter is needed to nearly saturate the ground. After that point, a burst of rain of just one-quarter of an inch an hour can trigger widespread shallow landslides, including debris flow, Kean said.

Since July 1, downtown Los Angeles has received 11.33 inches of rain as of Friday, which is 178% of average at this point of the winter. Santa Barbara has received 12.03 inches, which is 149% of average.

But for burned areas, mud and debris flows can strike with only intense rainfall, even if the ground is not saturated.

What’s the least predictable type of landslide?

The kind that can strike on a dry day.

In areas where the bedrock is very deep, rainwater can seep deep underground during multiple rainstorms. During a series of repeated heavy storms, water can eventually start to accumulate and build up pressure, Kean said.

The pressure can destabilize an entire chunk of land, causing it to collapse downhill. The landslide can happen slowly, and show warning signs like cracking or subtle movements, allowing people time to escape. But they can also strike rapidly with no warning, even on a rainless day months after the end of winter.

This is called a deep-seated landslide, involving landslides greater than 15 feet deep. Often, deep-seated landslides strike in areas with a history of such events. The USGS has warned that such landslides can become active many months after a very wet winter.

A deep-seated landslide struck Bluebird Canyon of Laguna Beach in 2005. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

What’s an example of a deep-seated landslide?

An example of where a deep-seated landslide has occurred is Bluebird Canyon of Laguna Beach.

One occurred on a foggy morning in June 2005 after heavy rains fell between the previous December through February. No rainfall occurred during or just before the landslide. Seventeen homes were destroyed and 11 seriously damaged.

There has been a history of devastating landslides in Bluebird Canyon. The neighborhood suffered a slide in October 1978 that destroyed more than 20 homes. The California Division of Mines and Geology said the heavy rains between December 1977 through April 1978 are believed to have played a role, along with a history of landslides and erosion at the site, and weakness in the rock.

What about the coastal hamlet of La Conchita in Ventura County? Did landslides there come as surprises?

The first landslide, in March 1995, came as no surprise, Ventura County geologist Jim O’Tousa said. The summer before, officials had observed ground cracks and other signs of a pending landslide. A sheriff’s official was assigned to patrol the area, and town meetings were held to prepare the community for what was coming.

Then about 24 inches of rain hit the region in January — way above the average of about 4 inches for that month. The slide hit March 2. The slopes started sliding at a pace so slow that residents could outrun it. The patrol officer was still knocking on doors as the ground was moving and got everyone down the hill in time, O’Tousa recalled.

“The groundwater finally built up to a high enough level to destabilize the slope,” O’Tousa said.

A deep-seated landslide buried 10 people, killing them, in 2005 in La Conchita. (Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times)

The second landslide in 2005 occurred at the end of an intense 15-day rainy period that saw heavy precipitation throughout Southern California. This slide came with no warning, and buried 10 people, killing them.

The 2005 landslide was actually a “remobilization of part of the 1995 slide,” O’Tousa said. The 1995 landslide had fractured and was sitting in the bottom of the canyon, he explained. Then in 2005, when enough water saturated the bottom of the canyon, the material came flushing out of the canyon — a speed of 20 mph — and flowed into the neighborhood where the fatalities occurred.

What about cliffs that fall into the sea?

Last winter, California saw cliffs erode into the sea in Pacifica, about a 15-mile drive south of San Francisco. There, apartment units have been ordered vacated because of the crumbling coastline.

Pacifica has some of the weakest soils along the California coast composed of cliffs, USGS research civil engineer Brian Collins said.

The cliffs are being attacked from both the bottom and on top from water. At its base, the ocean is eroding the cliffs. When heavy rains come from above, water seeps into the soils, and eventually exits when it reaches less permeable layers.

The nature of this seepage weakens the bonds in the soil that keep the soil particles bonded together, “so it collapses,” Collins said.

The coast in this region has been eroding for thousands of years. As sea levels have risen, the ocean has eroded the cliffs. And the San Andreas fault has been lifting the cliffs up, only for them to be taken down by the seas and the rain.

National Drought Mitigation Center: the drought in northern California is over.

A Wet Year Won’t Beat California’s Never-Ending Drought

A flooded vineyard in the Russian River valley in Forestville, California, on January 9, 2017.Eric Risberg/AP

Storm after storm has pummeled California over the past few weeks as a series of so-called atmospheric rivers has come ashore. Given the massive amounts of rain and snow that have fallen, people want to know if California’s five-year-long intensive drought is finally over.

The answer, of course, depends on what people mean by “drought” and “over,” and it depends on who you ask. There isn’t—and never has been—agreement about the meaning of either word.

Drought is defined and used in many ways: There are meteorological, hydrological, agricultural, and socioeconomic droughts. The National Drought Mitigation Center defines drought as originating from “a deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time—usually a season or more—resulting in a water shortage for some activity, group, or environmental sector. Its impacts result from the interplay between the natural event (less precipitation than expected) and the demand people place on water supply, and human activities can exacerbate the impacts of drought.”

Common drought indicators evaluate the balance between the water that comes into the state, via rain and snow, and the water that goes out in runoff, consumption, and evaporation. By any measure, California’s five-year drought, from 2012 to 2016, was extreme. Indeed, precipitation, runoff, and soil moisture in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins have been far below normal for a long time.

So far, this water year, which began October 1, is different. The chances are excellent that rain, snow, and runoff will be far above average. At this point in January, Northern California has already received almost its entire annual average precipitation, the snowpack is at 150 percent of normal, and reservoirs are filling up. The abundance of rain and snow so far this year led the National Drought Mitigation Center to conclude that the drought in northern California is over.

True, the wet parts of the water year are not over yet, but the firehose of moisture hitting us from the Pacific could also still dry up. And the relative abundance of water will bring calls to increase deliveries of water to cities and farms and to remove urban conservation restrictions.
But another key variable is temperature. Temperature determines, among other things, the demand for water by crops, vegetation, and people, and especially the ratio of snow to rain that falls in the mountains. The past five years were by far the driest and hottest in more than a century of recordkeeping—in part because of human-caused climate change—and those high temperatures played a key role in worsening the scarcity of water and devastating the snowpack. This combination of hot and dry led to massive groundwater overdraft, cutbacks to farmers, loss of snow storage in the mountains, reductions in hydropower production, and a range of voluntary and mandatory restrictions on urban water use. And while the wet year may end the “precipitation drought,” higher and higher temperatures and a persistent “snow drought” are here to stay.

Worst of all, these hydrological and meteorological measures don’t tell the whole story. Even in a wet year in California, nature’s bounty of water is no longer enough to satisfy all the state’s demands, recharge overdrafted groundwater basins in the San Joaquin valley, or overcome the massive deficits suffered by California’s ecosystems and endangered fisheries. Far more water has been claimed on paper than can ever be reliably and consistently delivered to users. If the most straightforward definition of drought is the simple mismatch between the amounts of water nature provides and the amounts of water that humans and the environment demand, California is in a permanent drought.

Whether or not the drought is officially declared “over” and emergency restrictions are lifted, we must still face up to the fact that our water system is out of balance, even in a wet year. Demands exceed supply, disadvantaged communities don’t have reliable access to safe water, ecosystems are dying, and our water systems are unsustainable and poorly managed. And in the context of a changing climate, these problems will only worsen.

The good news is that the last five years have shown that California can still have a healthy economy and a strong agricultural sector if we work to improve our use of water, cut inefficient and wasteful practices, and expand the use of non-traditional sources of water, especially including better stormwater capture and expanded wastewater treatment and reuse. Relatively painless urban conservation programs, such as appliance efficiency programs and efforts to replace turf with drought-resilient gardens, saved more than 2.3 million acre-feet of water just between June 2015 and November 2016, enough to provide 20 million people with their residential water needs for a year. The California agricultural sector suffered only modest decreases in production and employment and saw record high revenues during the drought while becoming more efficient.

Ultimately, “is the drought over?” is the wrong question. We should be asking, “are we managing our water resources in a sustainable manner, for the long haul”? The answer to that is still “no.”

The drought has forced us to think differently about water, to learn new lessons about how to make do with less water. Half a century ago, John Steinbeck wrote in East of Eden: “And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.” We now have an opportunity to prove him wrong, to remember even in wet years that the lessons learned in dry years can stay with us.

Electrical worker with A1 Electric dies, another severely burned after electrocution at construction site of Amarillo’s new Xcel building

Electrical worker dies at Lubbock hospital after incident at construction site of Amarillo’s new Xcel building

An electrician who was severely shocked Saturday while working on the future downtown headquarters of Xcel Energy in Amarillo died from his injuries Sunday morning at a Lubbock hospital.

His supervisor remained hospitalized Sunday.

Roper Copelin, 30, died at 4:42 a.m. Sunday at the University Medical Center Timothy J. Harnar Regional Burn Center in Lubbock, his mother, Tangela Copelin, said.

The other worker, Keath Garrison, Copelin’s boss, is also being treated at the burn center in Lubbock, she said.

“They’re giving Keath a better prognosis,” Tangela Copelin said in a telephone interview from her home in Hedley, Texas. “He’s been responsive but he’s got burns over 30 percent of his body plus he inhaled the smoke.”

She said her son Roper was single and lived in Amarillo and had been working alongside Garrison at A1 Electric for about four years.

“When they were behind on jobs they would work on Saturdays,” Copelin’s mother said. “They worked together a lot, and whenever he could Keath would ask for Roper. They were much more than just coworkers.”

Garrison is married and has two children, Tangela Copelin said.

GoFundMe accounts for Copelin and Garrison and their families - click on names to visit - have been set up online by Landon Shane Walker.

Garrison and Copelin were drilling on the second floor of a parking garage under construction in a building that is the future home of Xcel Energy at the corner of Eigth Avenue and Buchanan Street when the incident occurred, according to investigators.

Southwest General Contractors and Opus Design Build, L.L.C., plus a number of other subcontractors, are involved in the construction.

“Work at the site has been suspended for the weekend following the incident,” Opus spokesperson Meagan Pick said Sunday in a statement. “Opus is investigating the cause of the incident. Our sympathies and prayers are with the families of the two workers.”

Employees on the scene Saturday said the two workers may have made contact with electrical lines.

A first alarm sent firefighters to the scene where a fire was reported to be burning.

Amarillo firefighters responded to the blaze at 1:47 p.m., five minutes after the call first came in to dispatch.

A second alarm was immediately sounded and 26 firefighters from eight units brought the fire under control at 2 p.m.

The two severely injured men were transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to Amarillo Fire Department spokesman Capt. Larry Davis. The firefighters cleared smoke that had risen to the building’s higher floors after the blaze was extinguished.

Later, the two injured workers were transported to the burn center in Lubbock.

The Amarillo Fire Marshal’s Office and Amarillo Police Department Crime Scene Investigation Unit are investigating the incident.

The building, when completed, will include four stories of offices located on top of a three-story parking garage. 



Southwest General Contractors, a subcontractor of Opus Design Build L.L.C., confirms one of the construction workers taken to the hospital, yesterday, has died.

In a statement, the company writes, "Our sympathies and prayers are with the families of the two workers."


Emergency crews battled a fire at the new Xcel Energy building in Downtown Amarillo. It's located at the intersection of 7th Ave. and Buchanan St.

Just before 1:45 p.m., the Amarillo Fire Department responded to a report of smoke coming from the building which is still under construction.

According to the department, employees were reporting there were two victims inside that were severely burned. Crews found two construction workers that were burned and possibly electrocuted. The two victims were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Crews located the fire on the second floor where they were able to keep it contained. Employees on scene reported that two construction workers were drilling into an electrical box and may have made contact with energized lines.

The Amarillo Fire Marshal's office is investigating.

Opus Design Build, L.L.C, the national company overseeing construction, released this statement to KAMR Local 4 News and Fox 14 News, this evening:

"An incident occurred Saturday afternoon at SPS Amarillo Headquarters, an office project under construction in Amarillo, Texas. The incident involved two employees of a subcontractor that had been hired by a subcontractor of Opus Design Build, L.L.C. Work at the site has been suspended for the weekend following the incident. Opus is investigating the cause of the incident."


AMARILLO - A construction worker is dead and another is in critical condition after an incident in Downtown Amarillo this weekend.

It was a wet Saturday but worked still continued on at the new Xcel Energy building in Downtown Amarillo.

That was until an electrical incident happened involving two construction workers.

"They were drilling in some type of box and possibly made some type of contact with a very high amperage either line or device something like that caused a huge arc, the electrocution and then the ensuing fire," said Capt. Larry Davis, Amarillo Fire Department."

Since then work has been at a standstill, for now.

Opus Design-Build, L.L.C, the national company overseeing construction released a statement saying in part:

"Work is still suspended at the site due to the investigation. But it could resume as early as tomorrow."

The Amarillo Fire Marshall's Office was originally conducting the investigation but a new organization has taken over: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

"It's no longer in the Fire Department's hands and I believe that the Fire Marshalls' Office is really pretty much wrapped up their investigation on it as well. At this point, OSHA will come in and investigate and if there's any safety recommendations that need to be made I suppose they will make those," said Captain Davis.

According to OSHA's media spokesperson, the administration currently can't say anything about the incident.

That's because they just opened up the investigation and everything is still preliminary phase.

There's also no telling how long the investigation could take, but by law, OSHA has up to six months to complete the case.

Captain Davis says it's not uncommon for us to have this type of industrial accident but to have one of this severity, it's pretty uncommon and very unfortunate. As of now the names of the two construction workers have not been released.

Captain Davis tells us to his knowledge he doesn't remember the last time we had an incident this severe.

A Department of Public Works employee working on a garbage truck in Prince George's County, Maryland, was killed Monday after a female SUV driver crashed into the truck.

Maryland Worker Dies After Female SUV Driver Crashes Into Garbage Truck.
The 30-year-old worker for the public works department for more than a decade, following in his father's footsteps

Department of Public Works employee working on a garbage truck in Prince George's County, Maryland, was killed Monday after an SUV driver crashed into the truck.

Marcus Colbert, 30, died after he was hit on the job in Laurel, Maryland.

Police say the driver of the SUV struck a parked car along Old Sandy Spring Road and then hit Colbert, who was at the back of the truck loading trash.

Colbert, a Department of Public Works employee, was crushed. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A neighbor said she heard the impact of the crash.

“[I heard] thumping on the ground saying, ‘No, no,’ and I said, ‘Oh no, one of them got killed,'" she said.

The SUV driver refused treatment and was questioned by police. It was not immediately clear if the driver would be charged with a crime.

“It was a female driver,” Laurel spokeswoman Audrey Barnes said. “She is being questioned by Laurel police at this moment. Right now we don’t know what happened, we don’t know why she swerved into that silver car and then struck the back of our City of Laurel DPW truck.”

The black SUV that hit Colbert remained on the scene with a mangled hood.

Colbert worked for the public works department for more than a decade, and his father worked for the department for 23 years, the City of Laurel said in a statement.

"Working here was a family affair for Marcus," public works director Robert Ferree said in a statement. "Marcus will be remembered for his infectious smile, his willingness to help everyone and his strong work ethic -- helping other crews finish their routes without being asked."

Colbert was awarded a Meritorious Service Award at a city employee awards luncheon last year.

Colbert went the extra mile for the people he served, City Councilmember H. Edward Ricks said. He returned garbage cans to the doors of older residents so they didn't have to walk as far to retrieve them.

"There's been an outpouring from the community of all the people that know him, and [he's] going to be a person that we're sorely going to miss," Ricks said.

A homeowners association is already working to help Colbert's family.

"We want to donate $1,000 to the family, to help them out with expenses, resident Joe Harab said.

The city also is working on a way to honor Colbert.

19-year-old female construction worker with Step It Up Construction was crushed to death with a backhoe at a San Antonio construction site

SAN ANTONIO, TX — A 19-year-old female construction worker was killed at a San Antonio construction site on Monday, when a foreman crushed her with a backhoe while both worked on the city's West Side.

Emergency crews responded to a call about an injured person along the 13700 block of Potranco Road at around 10:30 a.m. on Monday, the San Antonio Express-News reported. Once there, emergency officials found Destiny Rodriguez had been crushed to death, the newspaper reported.

A deputy with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office told reporters the young woman was inside a dig site when the operator of the backhoe dropped the bucket on top of her. The woman died at the scene, while the backhoe operator was hospitalized for shock.

After the victim's family was notified of her death, some two dozen relatives arrived at the construction site while weeping in each others' arms as they grieved the young woman's death, according to the newspaper's account. A sister of the victim told a reporter the victim had been injured before when the same backhoe operator allegedly knocked her leg with the backhoe, resulting in a grapefruit-sized bruise on the back of her leg, according to the report.

Ironically, the victim had complained about lax safety guidelines to the construction company, Step It Up, for whom she worked. The family's grief over the young woman's death was exacerbated given that one of her sisters previously died of cancer, according to the report. 

Step IT Up Construction
11 years in business 

490 E. Ammann Rd. #14
Bulverde, TX 78163

BBB File Opened: 08/12/2010
Business Started: 08/01/2006
Business Started Locally: 08/01/2006

Type of Entity Sole Proprietorship

Business Management
Principal: Ryan Kostantenaco, Owner

Contact Information
Principal: Ryan Kostantenaco, Owner
Business Category
Contractors - General 



Comal County Jail Visitation Schedule and Information

Comal County (New Braunfels) TX Jail Booking Details

Booking #: 167577Comal County Sheriffs Office
Facility: Main JailBooked: 11/30/1995Released: 11/30/1995
NameKOSTANTENACO, RYAN STEVENDescWhite  Male  6ft   175 lbs   
SO #311581EyesBrown
AddressBULVERDE, TX 78163

Warrant #ChargeIssuing AuthOffense DateBond/TypeFine/Crt CostsDisposition

95-15665FAILURE TO APPEAR411/30/1995
Other Bond
112.00Surety Bond
Other Bond
109.50Surety Bond
Other Bond
316.50Surety Bond

Monday, January 23, 2017

NEW JERSEY THE TERRIBLE, THE STATE OF THE CORRUPT COPS, GOVERNMENT AND JUDGES: New Jersey tops the list of states losing people in masses.

New Jersey tops the list of states losing people in masses.  It is the state of corrupt cops, corrupt government and corrupt judiciary.  Because of the mass exodus of wealthy residents (as they try to avoid the onerous New Jersey Estate Tax), the corrupt New Jersey government allowed tens of thousands of illegals and middle eastern Muslims and Africans to flood the state.

Here are the top 10 states people are moving from

Jan 20, 2017 | By Rosalie L. Donlon,

Knowing the states that people are moving out of can help insurance agents and brokers plan for the potential loss of clients who relocate to another state. (Photo: iStock)

Americans are a mobile population, generally comfortable with the idea of moving away from their childhood homes for college, jobs, new ventures or to be closer to family. Some people in the military or corporate jobs have moved as often as every two years.

Knowing the states that people are moving out of can help insurance agents and brokers plan for the potential loss of clients who relocate to another state. It can also help those agents and brokers provide the best information available to their clients as they transition from one state to another.

Related: Here are the top 10 states people are moving into

It’s important for insurance agents and brokers to review moving patterns because when large numbers of people move away from an area, the situation has a ripple effect on the city or state’s economy. Marginal small businesses — which often make up a majority of a small agency’s clients — could go under from a lack of customers, resulting in one less client for the agency.

United Van Lines, based in Fenton, Missouri, which moves people locally, nationally and internationally, has been tracking which states people are moving to and from for 40 years. They also survey their customers to understand why they’ve chosen to relocate from one state to another.

“This year’s data clearly reflects retirees’ location preferences,” said Michael A. Stoll, economist, professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. “We are seeing more retirees than ever decide to relocate, and as a result, new retirement hubs are popping up in Western and Southern states. Interestingly enough, these retirees are leaving at such a fast pace that the movement of millennials to urban areas is being overshadowed.”

Here are the top outbound states of 2016, according to United Van Lines’ survey:

The Liberty Bell in Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historical Park. (Photo: iStock)
10. Pennsylvania

The role that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had to play in the American Revolution and the early years of the U.S. is generally what most people think of when they think of the state, with visions of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and Benjamin Franklin.

Total shipments in and out of state: 6,868

Total shipments out of state: 3,829

Percent of total shipments: 55.8 percent

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The Utah State Capital building in Salt Lake City. (Photo: iStock)
9. Utah

Although closely identified with the Mormon Church, Utah is also home to beautiful scenery and is well known for its ski resorts — a significant factor in its selection to host the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Total shipments in and out of state: 2,094

Total shipments out of state: 1,172

Percent of total shipments: 56.0 percent

Related: 15 cities with the best-paying cybersecurity jobs

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame located in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo: iStock)
8. Ohio

Few states bring to mind the Midwest as much as Ohio does, with a mix of manufacturing (steel, autos and appliances) and agriculture, as well as Ohio State University and its celebrated football team. Bordered on the north by Lake Erie, the state’s economy also includes shipping and transportation.

Total shipments in and out of state: 7,049

Total shipments out of state: 3,995

Percent of total shipments: 56.7 percent

A coal mine in West Virginia. (Photo: iStock)
7. West Virginia

Most people picture coal mines and rural poverty when they think of West Virginia. The state has added chemicals and biotech to its economy, and several federal agencies have established back-office operations there, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Services Division and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Public Debt.

Total shipments in and out of state: 547

Total shipments out of state: 314

Percent of total shipments: 57.4 percent

Main entrance to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, where the Kentucky Derby is held annually on the first Saturday in May. (Photo: iStock)
6. Kentucky

Probably best known for the Kentucky Derby, the state also has a reputation for tobacco farms and the start of the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) fast-food chain. It’s also known for bourbon, bluegrass music and horse farms.

Total shipments in and out of state: 2,919

Total shipments out of state: 1,704

Percent of total shipments: 58.4 percent 

A misty sunrise over a wheat field in Kansas. (Photo: iStock)
5. Kansas

Who can forget Dorothy’s famous line in The Wizard of Oz: “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” From the movie, Kansas evokes family farms, rolling wheat fields and tornados. Its economy is still heavily agrarian.

Total shipments in and out of state: 2,329

Total shipments out of state: 1,388

Percent of total shipments: 59.6 percent

Related: 4 options to consider when adjusting HVAC hail claims

Classic New England church in Connecticut. (Photo: iStock)
4. Connecticut

One of the original 13 colonies, many of Connecticut’s towns could be the backdrop for a Norman Rockwell painting of the town green and Congregational Church with its white steeple or the setting of “Moby Dick” in Mystic. Although the defense industry in the state is fading, it’s still home to several large insurance companies and Yale University, one of the top three in the U.S.

Total shipments in and out of state: 3,076

Total shipments out of state: 1,849

Percent of total shipments: 60.1 percent

Related: 10 richest states in America

Niagara Falls at sunrise, on the American side. (Photo: iStock)
3. New York

The state of New York, with a population of almost 20 million, ranges from the Big Apple of Manhattan to Niagara Falls on the Canadian border, with cities and towns of all sizes in between. The economy as well has a broad range from agriculture to the financial services found in Wall Street.

Total shipments in and out of state: 8,846

Total shipments out of state: 5,554

Percent of total shipments: 62.8 percent

View of Wacker Drive and train in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: iStock)
2. Illinois

is another state that ranges from sophisticated Chicago at the tip of Lake Michigan to worn out coal towns in the south and farming communities in between.

Total shipments in and out of state: 8,782

Total shipments out of state: 5,521

Percent of total shipments: 62.9 percent

Beach boardwalk in New Jersey. (Photo: iStock)
1. New Jersey

A state with 130 miles of beautiful Atlantic seashore, New Jersey is also home to a number of musicians including the late Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. It has a diverse economy and culture, from the sophisticated New York City suburbs, to Atlantic City, to Princeton University, to the vegetable farms known.

Total shipments in and out of state: 5,489

Total shipments out of state: 3,471

Percent of total shipments: 63.2 percent