Friday, May 5, 2017

David Boren, 47, the former chief of the Farmington Volunteer Fire Department in Mississippi indicted for embezzlement and insurance fraud

Corinth, Mississippi

Ex-Farmington fire chief indicted for embezzlement, insurance fraud

The former chief of the Farmington Volunteer Fire Department turned himself in Friday on a grand jury indictment charging him with embezzlement and insurance fraud, Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell said.

David Boren, 47, of County Road 255, was indicted on the charges, which came after an investigation by the sheriff’s office and others.

Count 1 of the indictment alleges that in 2014, Boren did unlawfully “with the intent to appropriate to himself money, knowingly execute, collude or conspire to execute or attempt to execute a scheme or artifice to obtain by means of false or fraudulent pretense, money from Glatpelter Claims Management, Inc. on behalf of American Alternative Insurance Corporation… .”

Count 2 of the indictment alleges that between 2010 and 2016, Boren did unlawfully “embezzle, fraudulently secret, conceal or convert to his own use or make away with property or money” with a value of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000 which was “entrusted to his care or possession by virtue of his employment with Farmington Volunteer Fire Department.”

Business Description
Farmington Volunteer Fire Dept is located in Corinth, Mississippi. This organization primarily operates in the Fire Department, Volunteer business / industry within the Justice, Public Order and Safety sector. This organization has been operating for approximately 16 years. Farmington Volunteer Fire Dept employs approximately 30 people at this single location.

A 13-year old girl riding her bike at a Redondo Beach intersection was struck and killed by a bus operated not by Metro, but a contractor, MV Transportation

Redondo Beach, Los Angeles County
A girl riding her bike at a Redondo Beach intersection was fatally struck by a bus on Friday.

According to an MTA spokesperson, the young victim was believed to have run into the side of the bus when it was going through the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Knob Hill Avenue shortly before 6 p.m.

It was not immediately clear how young the victim was. Officials said she had been riding bikes with a friend, who was not injured.

The vehicle is not an MTA bus and is operated by a contract company, according to the spokesperson.

DEVELOPING: We will add more details to this report as they become available.


13-year-old girl struck and killed by MTA bus in Redondo Beach

By Larry Altman, Daily Breeze

Posted: 05/05/17, 6:26 PM PDT | Updated: 1 min ago

A 13-year-old girl on a bicycle was struck by an MTA bus and killed tonight in Redondo Beach.

The crash occurred about 5:40 p.m. on Pacific Coast Highway and Knob Hill Avenue, Redondo Beach police Lt. Shawn Freeman said.

The girl was pronounced dead at the scene.

A witness said he saw the girl riding her bike and she somehow swerved in front of the bus.

Redondo Beach police have closed PCH at Knob Hill Avenue, Topaz Street and Avenue A, and Knob Hill Avenue at Elvira and Gertruda avenues.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

Metro spokesman Rick Jager said the bus, traveling the 232 route — which goes from Long Beach to LAX — was operated not by Metro, but a contractor, MV Transportation.

Jager said initial reports were the girl rode her bike into the side of the bus.

In February 2015, a LADOT bus operated by MV Transportation struck an elderly Torrance couple, Allen and Lynn Shall, while they were crossing Avenue I just east of Catalina Avenue in the Riviera Village. Allen was killed and Lynn was severely injured.

MV Transportation, LADOT and the bus driver, Mitchell Curtis Floyd, were named in a wrongful death lawsuit Lynn Shall filed in December 2015 that was later settled. Floyd later pleaded no contest to a single misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence.

3 injured after a Spitzer Helicopter Robinson R-44 Clipper (N981RR) tour helicopter crashes and burns at the La Cumbre Country Club in Santa Barbara, CA

The Spitzer Helicopter Robinson R-44 Clipper (N981RR) tour helicopter that crashed and burned

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (KABC) -- Three people onboard a tour helicopter that crashed at a golf course in Santa Barbara on Friday got out of the wreck alive, according to Santa Barbara County fire officials.

Emergency crews responded to the collision shortly after 2 p.m. at La Cumbre Country Club in the 4000 block of Via Laguna, an unincorporated area of Santa Barbara County.

Two passengers and a pilot were taking a waterfront tour in the four-seat Robinson R-44. While returning, the chopper developed mechanical problems.

The helicopter struck two vans near the golf course and caught fire, but all three occupants got out before the flames erupted.

The passengers and pilot were transported to a nearby hospital with moderate injuries, fire officials said. Nobody on the ground was hurt.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash.


3 Injured After Helicopter Crashes, Catches Fire at La Cumbre Country Club Near Santa Barbara

Three people transported to hospital with moderate injuries after tour helicopter makes crash-landing

A helicopter crashed and caught fire in Santa Barbara Friday afternoon. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

A tour helicopter reportedly had mechanical problems on its way back to the Santa Barbara Airport, authorities said. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

A helicopter crashed and caught fire at La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to a crashed helicopter at La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to a crashed helicopter (N981RR) at La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara County firefighters responded to a crashed helicopter at La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor | @magnoli | 

 3:25 p.m. | May 5, 2017 | 2:22 p.m.

A helicopter crashed near La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon in Santa Barbara, causing moderate injuries to the three people aboard.

Emergency response crews responded to 4015 Via Laguna Dr. just after 2 p.m. to the report of a plane down.

County Fire Department Capt. Dave Zaniboni said the crashed aircraft was a tour helicopter out of Santa Barbara.

The helicopter had finished a tour of the harbor and downtown area and was headed back to the airport when it had mechanical problems, Zaniboni told Noozhawk.

The pilot told the Santa Barbara Airport tower it was going down, he said.

It crash-landed in a maintenance area of La Cumbre Country Club, skidding into several vehicles in a paved area.

The pilot, male passenger and female passenger were able to get out of the helicopter on their own, Zaniboni said.

All three people were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with moderate injuries.

Firefighters arrived on the scene to find the aircraft on fire, Zaniboni said, adding that there was a fuel spill as a result of the crash.

Santa Barbara County Fire responded to a crashed helicopter at La Cumbre Country Club Friday afternoon. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

The tail number is assigned to a Robinson Helicopter R44 model, which is owned by a leasing company in Riverside County, Spitzer Helicopter.

Owner Eric Spitzer said he deals in long-term leases, often to flight schools, and the crashed aircraft was leased to Santa Barbara Air.

The owner/operator is Mike Ower, who mostly does helicopter tours, Spitzer said.

The Helicopter Tours of Santa Barbara website shows photos of a helicopter with the same tail number as the crashed aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified of the crash and representatives were responding to the scene. No further details were available.

1 man found dead in a Berwyn, Illinois home fire

BERWYN, Ill. (WLS) --

Berwyn firefighters and police responded to reports of a fire in the 3300-block of South Home Avenue on Friday afternoon.

Police say there was excessive smoke and fire coming out of the roof and windows.

After firefighters extinguished the blaze, officials say they discovered a body inside the house. The identity of the victim is not known.

Children were evacuated from a day care center next door as a precaution.

Berwyn police and fire officials are still investigating the blaze.


A man was found dead in a Berwyn home following a fire Friday, authorities said.

The man, who had not yet been identified, was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m. at the scene in the 3300 block of South Home Avenue in the west suburb, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Emergency crews were called to the home late Friday morning following a report of smoke and fire coming from the house, according to a news release from Berwyn police. When police arrived, they saw heavy smoke and fire coming from the roof and some windows.

Firefighters from Berwyn and other area fire departments were able to put out the fire, and when firefighters searched the home, they found the man dead, according to the release.

Police have identified the 64-year-old owner of the home, but had not been able to confirm that he was the man found dead, according to the release.

The Illinois Fire Marshall’s office is working with fire investigators to find the cause of the fire. Police and fire investigators are working together to establish how the man died and his identity.

An autopsy was expected to be performed Saturday.

Tirpoke Cleaners was destroyed by a 3-alarm fire in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

Residents shocked by damage after Flemington, New Jersey fire

Friday, May 05, 2017 06:18PM
FLEMINGTON, N.J. (WPVI) -- A dry cleaners was destroyed when flames ripped through the longtime business in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

It took firefighters about three hours to get the fire under control after it erupted around 7 p.m. Thursday at Tirpoke Cleaners on Reaville Ave.

On Friday, residents were showing up to the scene in shock at the extent of the damage.

The massive blaze engulfed the building, gutting it and destroying everything inside.

"I feel very bad for them. I've known them for many, many years and they didn't deserve what happened," said coffee shop owner Bobbie Pyatt.

The Tirpok family has six stores, but this was the production facility where everything was sent to be cleaned. Debbie Neal runs the Lambertville location.

"I just had a girl that I called and she was a little upset because Lambertville's prom is Friday night. So she was unhappy, but everybody else that called, they understand. A fire's a fire," Neal Said.

Owner Andrew Tirpok didn't want to go on camera, but told Action News he was heartbroken and will do everything he can to make it right for customers.

He says he's working with his insurance company to set up a hotline and protocol for people who've lost items in the fire.
Chuck Savelli's stepson sent him a video of what the blaze looked like before it was brought under control.

"Look at that," he said while showing us the video. "See that's really, that's engulfed."

The three-alarm fire was fought by more than 20 fire companies from around the area, who miraculously saved Central Wine Merchants liquor store just about 10 feet away.

"The wind brought it over, so it looked like it was our building also. But the way they had the water set up and the hoses, they just kept it contained. It was the most amazing thing," said clerk Cara Hamrah.

"It's a very nice family-run business and very sad to see that it burned. I learned that this morning," said Diane Papalski.

"We went through the same thing about 30 years ago here. We burned down in '84, so it's a tough rebuild, but they'll do it," said the owner of Central Wine, Steve Little.

While the cause of the fire is not yet known, investigators say at this point it does not appear to be suspicious.


The community is rallying to support Tirpok Clea ners whose longtime Flemington store was destroyed by fire Thursday evening. (Photo: Mike Deak/Staff Photo)

FLEMINGTON, NJ - The community is rallying together to help one of Hunterdon County's landmark businesses, Tirpok Cleaners, after a fire destroyed its home location on Reaville Avenue Thursday evening.

Firefighters from throughout Hunterdon County rushed to Flemington to battle the blaze at the business that has been at the same location for 69 years. The efforts to save the business were so intense that water pressure lowered throughout the borough.

Though the building was destroyed, firefighters were able to keep the fire from speading next door to Central Wine Merchants, another Hunterdon County landmark business. No injuries were reported.

"Even though our building couldn't be saved, the fire departments did an outstanding job tonight," Andrew Tirpok, president of the business with other locations in Hunterdon County, wrote on Facebook. "I can't express how much I appreciate all the hard work they do."

"We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and love from the surrounding communities," Tirpok said. "We are committed to rebuilding as soon as possible."

Tirpok added that the business's "point of sale software is cloud- based and we have no data loss, which will greatly assist us in expediting our assistance to you, our customers."

Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns III said the fire does not appear to be suspicious and the cause is undetermined. The investigation is continuing, he said.

The fire was reported by employees at about 6:55 p.m., Kearns said.

Responding to the scene were the Flemington Borough Fire Department, Raritan Township Fire Department, Raritan Township Police Department, Flemington Borough Office of Emergency Management, Flemington Borough Police Department, Glen Gardner Fire Department, Fairmont Fire Department, High Bridge Fire Department, Stockton Fire Department, Kingwood Fire Department, Sergeantsville Fire Department, Lambertville Fire Department, Readington Fire Department, Lebanon Borough Fire Department, Three Bridges Fire Department, Quakertown Fire Department, Milford Fire Department, Amwell Valley Fire Department, Lebanon Township Fire Department, Annandale Fire Department, East Whitehouse Fire Department, Hampton Fire Department, Flemington-Raritan Rescue Squad, Lambertville Rescue Squad, Clinton Rescue Squad, Whitehouse Rescue Squad, Hunterdon County OEM, Hunterdon County Hazmat Team, Hunterdon Medical Center Paramedics, Hunterdon County Fire Marshalls Office and Flemington Borough Office of Emergency Management.

“I commend the volunteers for their quick response to this fire," Kearns said. "It is a testament to the dedication of these men and women to see so many fire companies and rescue squads come to the aid of their fellow volunteers and keep our county safe. Other structures and businesses surrounding the cleaners were saved by the rapid response and expertise of our selfless first responders.”

Tirpok Cleaners was an integral part of the Flemington and Hunterdon community for decades, always generous in supporting youth groups, schools and other nonprofit organizations.

And now the community is rallying behind Tirpok Cleaners.

"I think it's safe to say that the greater Flemington area feels like it lost a friend in the business community last night due to the tragic fire at Tirpok Cleaners. They've been part of, and a friend to this community for the many decades that I've lived here," Jeff Hoffman of Flemington Precast and Supply posted on Facebook.

"We must do everything that we can to support them and help them through this difficult time," Hoffman continued. " We must not only support our local businesses by shopping here, but we need to pitch-in where we can in situations like this as well."

The Ladies of Hunterdon County, a Facebook group with more than 8,300 members, are trying to organize a donation for those who had prom and wedding dresses at Tirpok Cleaners.

According to the Flemington Office of Emergency Management, several businesses, including 55 Main, Gabby's Pizza, Jack's Pizza, Krauszer's and Steve's Food Store , donated food and water to the army of first-responders who were on the fire scene shortly before 7 p.m. until late in the night.

Borough Councilman Brian Swingle said he told Tirpok that the borough will help "any way we can" to get the business open again.

"One positive thing out of tonight's fire," wrote Flemington resident Tim Hester. "We're all looking out for each other.

For three generations the Tirpok Family has owned and operated Tirpok Cleaners. Andy Tirpok Sr. started in 1936 with a shoe-shine stand on Main Street in Flemington.. In 1948 he built the Reaville Avenue location.

Through the years, Andy Sr.’s son Andy Jr. took over the company and then passed the torch to his son Andrew in 2002.

4 firefighters and 1 train conductor injured after a Jersey City firetruck hit a NJ Transit light rail train in Jersey City, NJ

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- 

Four firefighters were injured after a Jersey City firetruck hit a NJ Transit light rail train on Friday.

The accident happened just after 7 p.m. when the light rail vehicle on the Hudson-Bergen line collided with the truck at the intersection of Washington Blvd. and Sixth Street.

The firetruck was responding to an emergency at the time of the crash and had its lights and sirens on. Ten people, on the train, including the operator reported an injury. The light rail vehicle derailed, and there were overhead wires down at the scene.

The injuries to the firefighters are considered non-life threatening.


Four Jersey City firefighters were injured tonight after the fire truck they were on collided with a NJ Transit light rail train in Downtown Jersey City.

The light rail train derailed during the collision, leaving service on the rail line partially suspended in both directions during the evening rush.

The incident occurred at about 7:15 p.m. at Sixth Street near Washington Blvd., just south of the Newport mall. The firefighters were on their way to an emergency call that came in at 7:01, city spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said.

The three firefighters and the fire captain on the truck and the train's conductor were sent to Jersey City Medical Center, according to Morrill. The injuries are not believed to be life threatening at this time.

The fire captain had to be extracted from the truck, Morrill said.

A NJ Transit spokeswoman said there were about 10 passengers on the train at the time.

Light rail service was suspended both ways between the Marin Boulevard and Newport stations following the collision.

A man was fatally struck by a light rail train as he was walking on the tracks in Jersey City two weeks ago.

The deadly Firestone, Colorado house explosion was caused by odorless gas seeping from a cut-off underground pipeline into the house through French drains and a sump pit

FIRESTONE, CO – A fatal house explosion was caused by odorless gas seeping from a cut-off underground pipeline into the house through French drains and a sump pit, Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District chief Ted Poszywak said.

Fire investigators found a 1-inch diameter black plastic pipeline running from an Anadarko Petroleum well near the house that had been cut when a tank battery was moved before the Oak Meadows subdivision was built, Poszywak said. That pipeline leaked the gas from a point 6 feet from the southeast corner of the house at 6312 Twilight Ave. in Firestone. Investigators said they found the gas valve at the Anadarko well in the “on” position.

Poszywak said leaking gas “saturated the soil and migrated into the French drains of the home.”

Soon after the firefighters released their report Tuesday, Gov. John Hickenlooper ordered oil and gas companies statewide to inspect and pressure-test oil and gas flowlines within 1,000 feet of occupied buildings.

Hickenlooper said companies must make sure flowlines not in use are properly marked and capped, and that any abandoned flowline cut off underground is sealed.
RJ Sangosti, The Denver PostA gas well, on the left, covered by tan fencing is less than 200 feet from a home where crews continue to investigate a fatal house explosion on April 27, 2017 in Firestone.

Frederick investigators found “prerefined gas” — gas that had not been odorized for safety — in the basement sump pit and French drains, Poszywak said. “Those inside the home would not have smelled it.”

The gas was a volatile mix of methane and propane, he said. It “found an ignition source inside the home. It erupted into a sudden and violent explosion” that killed homeowner Mark Martinez and his brother-in-law Joey Irwin and critically injured Martinez’s wife, Erin.

Family members have said Martinez and Irwin were working on a water heater in the basement of the house.

The Anadarko Petroleum oil and gas well sits 178 feet from the house that burned and collapsed in the fiery explosion April 17. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission regulators announced last week they were supporting the local firefighters’ investigation, and Anadarko officials said they voluntarily were shutting down 3,000 of their older, vertical oil and gas wells in northeastern Colorado as a precaution.

“It was the pipeline rather than the wellhead that caused the buildup related to the explosion,” Poszywak said.

Anadarko had left the well dormant in 2016 and restarted it in January. Anadarko operators may not have pressure-tested underground flow lines to detect leaks, one of many issues the COGCC regulators said they would review.

COGCC chief Matt Lepore said Tuesday afternoon that the commission will consider adopting new rules to require pressure testing for smaller flow pipelines. He added that rules regarding mapping of pipelines throughout the state also will be reviewed as well as other matters.

The house explosion on Twilight Avenue has re-ignited concerns about oil and gas industry operations close to where people live along Colorado’s booming Front Range.

While the COGCC requires companies drilling new oil and gas wells to stay 500 feet from homes (unless companies make deals with landowners and get special permission), state officials leave it to local governments to determine how close to industry facilities new houses can be built.

Firestone’s municipal code allows new house construction as close as 150 feet to existing oil and gas facilities.

“We do not have any definitive answer for what happened,” Oak Meadows subdivision builder Century Communities spokesman Andy Boian said. “We are 100 percent committed to finding out what happened.”
Andy Cross, The Denver PostA Frederick/Firestone firefighter rolls up a hose in front of the remains of a home on the 6300 block of Twilight Ave. in Firestone, Tuesday morning April 18, 2017.

Environment and public safety groups this week were focused on the issue of underground industry pipelines that carry oil and gas away from wells — like the one that leaked gas into the Martinez family home.

State Sen. Matt Jones, a Boulder County Democrat, on Tuesday warned of “a recipe for disaster that could cause people to get hurt.”

“As more information has come to light, it has become clearer that these oil wells, pipes, and tanks are simply too dangerous to be in close proximity to homes, businesses, and schools,” Jones said. “We need to take steps to ensure a tragedy like this doesn’t happen again.”

The Sierra Club is urging state leaders to stop permitting new oil and gas operations until the COGCC overhauls its current process to make sure public health and safety and the environment are protected.

Pointing to the recent Colorado Court of Appeals ruling that oil and gas production can only be done if it does not hurt people and the environment, Sierra Club “Beyond Oil and Gas” campaign director Harv Teitelbaum said COGCC regulators too often waive rules and approve projects “in service of drilling operator convenience and economic expediency

“As a result of these loopholes and rubber-stamped waivers, homeowners and prospective buyers in newer housing developments are not adequately informed of the potentially fatal risks they face,” he said.

Sierra Club members “are very concerned about this, and suspect that this is not an isolated situation,” Teitelbaum said. “Even if not right on top, corrosion in nearby lines, combined with various pathways for gas migration, present a serious, ongoing, widespread risk. … All operators in Colorado should be required to immediately suspend operations at similar wells, fully inspect and report on those wells — not on a voluntary basis — with monitoring systems put in place to alert authorities to any leaks. Long-term, this problem will only get worse as corrosion, geologic action and age affect the integrity of all old wells.”

The Indonesian government is seeking $2 billion in compensation from Thailand's state oil company and its Australian unit for an oil spill in the Timor Sea

Indonesia seeks $2B compensation for Thai firm's oil spill

Published May 05, 2017

JAKARTA, Indonesia – The Indonesian government is seeking $2 billion in compensation from Thailand's state oil company and its Australian unit for an oil spill in the Timor Sea nearly eight years ago, an official said Friday.

Deputy Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Arif Havas Oegroseno said the lawsuit was registered Wednesday at the Central Jakarta District Court against Petroleum Authority of Thailand Public Co. and its related companies PTTEP Australasia and Petroleum Authority of Thailand Exploration and Production Public Co. Ltd.

More than 400 barrels of oil a day flowed from the Montara well into the Timor Sea and stained the coasts of Indonesia and East Timor before mud pumped through a relief well shut off the deep-water spigot 11 weeks later.

Oegroseno described the civil lawsuit as "an effort to seek justice."

He told a news conference that the demand for compensation includes $1.725 billion for environmental damage and $330 million for restoration work. He added that the environmental damage included 1,200 hectares (2,965 acres) of mangroves, 1,400 hectares (3,460 acres) of seagrass and 700 hectares (1,730 acres) of corals.

An independent review in Australia in 2011 blamed PTTEP and a lax regulator for the oil leak. The Montara spill occurred because the underwater cement barrier designed to prevent oil blowouts failed.

Thousands of dead fish and clumps of oil were found drifting near Indonesia's coastline more than two months after the accident, said to be the worst oil spill in the history of Australia's offshore petroleum industry.

At least 1 person died in a fiery head-on collision on State Road 60 in Osceola County, Florida

At least one person died Thursday morning in a fiery head-on collision on State Road 60 in a remote area of Osceola County, troopers say.

The crash happened around 8:40 a.m. about three miles west of Yeehaw Junction near Mae Bass Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Spokesperson Sgt. Kim Montes said a five-door Lexus driving east on S.R. 60 crossed the center lane and hit a westbound tractor-trailer head-on.

She said the Lexus was completely engulfed in flames and the driver died. The driver was not immediately identified, pending notification of next of kin.

The truck was being driven by Larry Nguyen, 50, of Tampa. According to an crash report, he suffered minor injuries.

It is unknown why the car crossed into oncoming traffic.

Motorist Cristy Crews was a few vehicles behind the tractor-trailer Thursday when she heard the impact and saw flames.

“They hit head-on and as soon as they hit, the car flipped and burst into flames,” she said.

Numerous people stopped, she said, but the fire was too intense for anyone to get to the driver to help.

She said by the time emergency crews arrived, the Lexus was fully engulfed in flames.

Troopers shut down S.R. 60 in both directions while investigating the accident. The road was reopened by Thursday afternoon.

SHELTER IN PLACE IN BENICIA: anyone downwind of the Valero Refinery to evacuate the Benicia area due to flaring and smoke caused by power outage

Flaring at Valero refinery triggers evacuations in Benicia

Benicia police are advising anyone downwind of the Valero Refinery to evacuate the area due to flaring and smoke. (KGO-TV)

Bay City News
Updated 31 mins ago
BENICIA, Calif. -- Benicia police are advising anyone downwind of the Valero Refinery to evacuate the area due to a power outage that has caused flaring and smoke.

All other areas of the town are being advised to shelter-in-place due to the flaring.

The southbound I-680 off-ramp at Lake Herman has been closed.

At about 7:27 a.m., Benicia police announced via their Twitter account that the refinery was experiencing a power outage that resulted in flaring and smoke.

Roughly 20 minutes later, police advised anyone in businesses or homes downwind of the facility to evacuate the area.

First responders are at the scene.

SVV 1 and KC Water Park, two companies associated with the Texas-based water park operator Schlitterbahn to pay $20 million in settlements for the death of Caleb Schwab, 10, aboard the "Verruckt" waterslide

Caleb Schwab, 10, died aboard the "Verruckt" waterslide at the Schlitterbahn Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (WLS)

Family of boy, 10, killed on Kansas waterslide to receive $20 million in settlements

Updated 2 hrs 8 mins ago
KANSAS CITY, Kansas -- The family of a 10-year-old boy who died on a giant waterslide at a Kanas water park will receive nearly $20 million in settlement payments, according to court documents.

The largest payment to Caleb Schwab's family, $14 million, will come from SVV 1 and KC Water Park, two companies associated with the Texas-based water park operator Schlitterbahn, The Kansas City Star reports.

The rest of the money will come from the general contractor, the raft manufacturer and a company that consulted on the 17-story "Verruckt" waterslide that was dubbed the tallest in the world. The waterslide at the park in Kansas City has been closed since Caleb's death on Aug. 7, 2016.

The settlements had already been announced, but the amount wasn't disclosed. The Star obtained the court documents after filing motions to intervene. The newspaper argued that the amounts paid by each defendant should be released to ensure those responsible for Caleb's death are held publicly accountable.

Caleb's father is Republican Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab. Attorneys for the family declined to comment to The Star. They said previously in a written statement that the family was "determined to hold all those responsible for this tragedy accountable, while doing all they can to ensure this never happens again to another family."

Schlitterbahn spokeswoman Winter Prosapio in an email to The Star that Caleb's family and the others affected will "forever be in our thoughts and prayers." The company previously announced it would tear down Verruckt once a court allows it, although it remains unclear when that will happen.

Verruckt - German for "insane" - featured multi-person rafts that made a 17-story drop at speeds of up to 70 mph, followed by a surge up a hump and a 50-foot descent to a finishing pool. During the ride, Caleb was decapitated, a person familiar with the investigation previously told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to speak publicly about the boy's death. The two women who took the ride with Caleb suffered serious facial injuries. They have settled their claims against the companies involved in the making of Verruckt.

At the time of Caleb's death, Kansas was known for its light regulation of amusement park rides. But last month, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed off on legislation that beefs up the state's requirements.

Rep. Schwab said in March on the floor of the Kansas House that the bill was for "the next kid who goes some place in Kansas for a fun weekend."


Gruesome details revealed in boy's water slide death at Kansas park

Riders are propelled by jets of water as they go over a hump while riding the world's tallest water slide called "Verruckt" at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Monday, August 08, 2016
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A witness to the tragic death of a 10-year-old boy on the world's tallest water slide in Kansas has revealed gruesome details of how the boy died.

Caleb Thomas Schwab, the son of Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab, was killed Sunday while riding "Verruckt" at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City. The slide is 168 feet and has 264 stairs leading to the top -- taller than the Statue of Liberty. The slide's name means "insane" in German.

ABC News talked with Esteban Castaneda, who witnessed the incident at the water park. He described a horrific scene after the boy's death.

Castaneda said that he heard booms coming from the area of the slide and then saw a body wash down the slide directly after the raft did.

Castaneda said he noticed a lifeguard was trying to push the crowd back from the slide, but he continued to try to help because he thought there was someone lying face down in the water.
The lifeguard told Castaneda that there was nothing he could do to help. It was at that point that he noticed the boy appeared to have been decapitated. Castaneda said two other women were strapped into the raft, and the first position of the raft was empty. This is likely where Caleb had been sitting.

Castaneda said he had ridden the slide earlier in the day with his cousin's 14-year-old daughter. She had told him that her safety belt's Velcro came undone toward the end of her ride.

Kansas City Police also released more information about the incident Monday, calling the boy's death a "fatal neck injury at the end of the ride." The two women riding in the raft with Caleb suffered minor facial injuries. They were not related to the boy.

Pastor Clint Sprague, the family spokesperson for the Schwab family said they're heartbroken. He said Caleb was a hugger who loved his parents, sports and Jesus.

A memorial service is planned for Friday afternoon.

The park was closed down after the incident Sunday and remained closed Monday.

Verruckt was certified as the world's tallest water slide by Guinness World Records. Riders go down the slide in multi-person rafts and have to be at last 54 inches tall, according to the park's website.

Donald W. Malray, a Homer, LA police officer, indicted on charges he defrauded the State Farm insurance company through a false stolen vehicle claim


A Homer, LA police officer with a history of questionable behavior has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges he defrauded an insurance company through a bogus claim.

The three-count indictment unsealed Wednesday charges Donald Wayne Malray, 52, with one count of mail fraud conspiracy and two counts of mail fraud.

This is not the first time Malray, who has served as the department’s assistant chief during a nearly 30-year career, has been indicted by a federal grand jury. In 2003, he was indicted on two counts of perjury after the government alleged he lied while testifying in a Claiborne Parish man’s federal drug trial. A jury acquitted Malray after a trial in 2004.

Malray told KTBS he already had plans to retire from the department. He said Police Chief Russell Mills placed him on administrative leave; however, he's using accrued vacation days.

The current charges accuse Malray of conspiring with an unindicted co-conspirator -- identified in court documents only as “LDH” -- to purchase a Polaris utility vehicle and a trailer, having LDH report them as stolen and then pocketing the $13,600 insurance payment.

The indictment alleges Malray bought the side-by-side and trailer from a Bossier City retailer on Aug. 1, 2014, and financed them through Barksdale Federal Credit Union for about $13,000. Both were insured through State Farm.

The government alleges the conspiracy stretched from July 4, 2015, through Jan. 31 of this year. The indictment charges LDH was approached by Malray on July 4, 2015, with a scheme for LDH to make a “false claim” that the vehicles were stolen but that Malray would take them for himself.

The two met Aug. 4, 2015, at a park in Ruston, the indictment said, where Malray took possession of the Polaris and trailer then took them to his girlfriend’s house in Ruston. They remained there until seized by law enforcement on Jan. 31.

LDH reported the vehicles as stolen to the Homer Police Department later that day. Shortly afterward, the indictment alleges, LDH filed a claim with State Farm. State Farm issued two checks – one totaling $10,952 to Barksdale Federal Credit Union and the second $2,658 to LDH – on Sept. 8, 2015.