Lava Flows Into Homes in Hawaii; Federal Judge Criticizes Mueller’s Actions Against Manafort; Diseases from Mosquito, Tick, & Flea Bites on Rise; Woman Wins $1.2M From $18 Bet at KY Derby; Florida Woman Had Roach Stuck in Ear for 9 Days; Trump Administration Ends TPS for 85,000 People from Honduras
Lava Flows Into Homes in Hawaii
In Big Island, Hawaii — there are eruptions of lava that has flowed from fissures in the ground.
These eruptions are coming from magma flow that is right below a residential area on a hill. The area is Leilani Estates in Pahoa, which is on a “shield volcano,” a broad, shallow dome.
The signs of eruption started on Thursday night, when people noticed smoke coming out of cracks on the road.
There are pictures and video of red-hot flowing lava, which are usually at least 1,300 F, burning everything in its path, including homes, trees, and roads. Some lava and rocks have shot up over 300 feet in the air.
I was in touch with a Deaf man, Ronald McBride, who lives in the area. He said there are six other deaf people who also live there.
He said there was a crack in the Earth about 700 yards away. He said the electricity went on and off and there were earthquakes every five minutes. His family has packed up and evacuated but he stayed behind, planning to stay until the last minute.
Ronald McBride: It’s erupted a few days ago and it’s still there. Where is it? Right there in my front yard. I hope it misses us. We’ll see.
You can see the billowing smoke. It’s getting big. There is a house on fire, you can see the gray smoke. While next to it is white smoke from the lava. It’s a beautiful swirl of smoke.
Alex: News reports say over 25 homes and at least 10 buildings have burned with more under threat. There are also dangerous fumes, sulfur dioxide, in the air. It’s dangerous to breathe in.
There are about 250 people and their pets in emergency shelters.
On Friday night, there was a 6.9 magnitude earthquake, which is the strongest in Hawaii since 1975. Before that, there was a 5.4 magnitude earthquake. In total, there were over 70 earthquakes, triggered by the magma flow. There were over
Hawaii Governor David Ige has issued an emergency disaster proclamation and activated the National Guard to provide support.
It seems like there are no serious injuries or deaths — as emergency crews went door-to-door to make sure everybody got out.
There have been cell phone alerts of mandatory evacuations. But there are still some people in the area, and police has warned they will not go to rescue them. I hope everybody is okay, including the deaf people who live in the area. I will share updates as I get them.
I was in touch with Ronald for a videophone interview. Here it is.
Ronald: My name is Ronald McBride. I live in Hawaii, in Puna near the volcano. About one mile away.
Alex: I see in the news that there are serious lava flows. Are your home, your family, and yourself doing okay?
Ronald: Yes, my home is okay. My neighborhood is in a strange world. We’ve moved a lot of things in storage or other family homes. I’ve seen neighbors do the same. There are a lot of military and police everywhere. It’s a strange world.
Alex: Will the lava flows impact your home, causing it to burn up?
Ronald: Maybe. Maybe. I have to keep an eye out in the next week or two. This morning there was a new crack. There are 11 eruptions in total. There will be a 12th and 13th, which are closer to my home and is a threat if the eruptions continue. Within a week I will know if it’s coming or not.
Alex: Are you still at home or have you evacuated?
Ronald: No. My son and daughter and grandchildren have left. My girlfriend has left as well. I am the only one here by myself. I am looking after the house. I have to say here for insurance purposes. On my street, I guess there are 1,000 people who have already left. There are about 10 people left, and I’m one of them who is stubborn in staying here.
Alex: How will you know if lava is coming near your home? How will you stay safe?
Ronald: There isa USGS — U.S. Global Survey group that watches the area and gives warnings and updates on lava flows. I will get information from them.
As a Deaf person, do you feel you are getting equal access with emergency information?
Ronald: No. It has been very frustrating. There are no captioning on live television or on Facebook live. I am dependent on the comments section and guess what is going on.
Alex: I see on the news that there are dangerous sulfur gases around. How do you protect yourself from that?
Ronald: From where I am, the wind is blowing in the opposite direction. For those who live that way, it is dangerous. But sometimes, like this morning, the wind shifts in my direction. But from where I live, I’m too close to it, so the smoke goes up and over my area. My daughter and others say they smell it from where they are, but I said there is nothing here. When they come here, they are surprised to see there’s no smell. So I think it’s just going above me. I guess it’s a good thing.
Alex: Now that you’ve decided to stay, what will force you to leave? What is your “limit” before you evacuate?
Ronald: Well, I’ll stay here until lava is on my yard. Then I will take pictures because I’ve been struggling with my insurance. They said if I abandon, they won’t cover it. There are many reasons why. I’ll stay here and take pictures so I can send it to insurance for proof so I can get money for a new home.
Alex: You told me before that there are other deaf people in the area. Are they okay, if you know about them?
Ronald: Yes, they live further away. One is closer. They are all okay. I’ve alerted them, and they brush it off. They think it’s a normal part of life because they’ve gone through it before. All of them did evacuate in the past, so they are staying until the last minute. It is costly to move.
Alex: Thank you for your time. Please stay safe and give me updates.
Ronald: Yes, sure. Bye.
Federal Judge Criticizes Mueller’s Actions Against Manafort
On Friday, a federal judge criticized the Special Counsel Mueller and his team in their case against Paul Manafort.
Judge T.S. Ellis III said he didn’t think they cared about Manafort’s bank fraud. He said he felt they only wanted to get information from him that they could use against Trump to lead to his prosecution or impeachment or whatever.
He said he didn’t see what relation Manafort’s indictment had with what Mueller is authorized to investigate.
A prosecutor with the special counsel’s office, Michael Dreeben, argued that Manafort’s financial ties with people in Russia and Ukraine was within the scope of Mueller’s jurisdiction. He said they followed the money and found crimes.
In August, the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in a memo, gave Mueller’s team authority to look at possible financial crimes by Manafort. That memo has been released to the public, but is mostly blacked out.
The judge asked for a complete copy of that memo, without the redacted parts. He has not yet made a ruling. The case is a request by Manafort’s lawyer to dismiss his charges of money laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent, and lying to investigators. This request is what sparked the discussion.
President Trump applauded the judge on Friday. He tweeted that the “13 Angry Democrats (referring to Mueller’s team) in charge of the Russian Witch Hunt are starting to find out that there is a Court System in place that actually protects people from injustice.”
President Trump also said there are conflicts of interest in Mueller’s team.
Mueller is a longtime Republican, but there are some people on his team that has made financial contributions to Democrats. There was also a FBI agent that was removed from the team several months ago because of his texts to a FBI lawyer that were very critical of Trump. So there is a lot of suspicion cast on Mueller’s team.
This is a new development in the ongoing saga between Trump and Mueller. The question is on how much Mueller has.
Diseases from Mosquito, Tick, & Flea Bites on Rise
Federal health officials say the number of people getting diseases from mosquito, tick, and flea bites has more than tripled in the U.S. in recent years. There are now almost 100,000 cases a year.
There are nine new diseases that were discovered or newly introduced since 2004. This is in addition to increasing cases of Lyme disease.
Officials are encouraging people to protect themselves this summer season with bug repellent, especially for children.
The reasons for the increase are warmer weather, increased jet travel, and a lack of vaccines.
People traveling on planes can easily carry various diseases from tropical, overseas ares to the U.S. Hot weather in mainland U.S. makes it easier for mosquitoes to bite and spread diseases.
Ticks can live in areas that was previously too cold for them in the northeast and upper midwest. They are also spreading in California. Their bites can cause various dangerous diseases.
Another reason for the increase is thicker forests in suburban areas with plenty of deer and rodents, which allow ticks to have blood hosts.
Fleas can carry the plague, the same bacterium that caused the “Black Death” during medieval times. It is very rare, but there have been several cases, mostly in the Southwest, since 2004. It can be cured with antibiotics.
Woman Wins $1.2M From $18 Bet at KY Derby
Last weekend, a woman from Austin made an $18 bet at a race track near San Antonio. The bet was a Pick 5 wager which allows her to pick 5 horses competing in the Kentucky Derby, which ones she thought would win.
Sure enough, each horse she picked won. She won $1.2 million. The woman gave an interview to ABC news but asked not to be identified.
A spokesperson for the race track said, “It is extremely rare to bet that little amount of money and win $1.2 million.” She said it was the first time it’s ever happened at that race track.
Some of the horses she picked had low odds of winning, which increased her prize.
Obviously, she also picked the horse that won the entire event.
The horse, named Justify, was a favorite that had 3-1 odds to win. It won by 2 ½ lengths. Ironically, the horse won $1.24 million, just a little more than what the woman won from her $18 bet.
The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuous sporting event in America. It is well known for being a “one-percenter” event due to it’s high ticket prices and wealthy fans.
But it was a woman in Texas who got one of the biggest prizes. Congratulations to her.
Florida Woman Had Roach Stuck in Ear for 9 Days
A woman from Melbourne, Florida wrote about her experience of having a live roach stuck in her left ear. Her name is Katie Holley.
Holley said this happened last year after she and her husband bought their first home. They noticed roaches in the home, so they paid for an exterminator to spray in every room.
But after a few weeks, Holley woke up from her sleep when she felt a cold thing go into her ear. She thought it was a small piece of ice. She went to the bathroom and got a cotton swab into her ear and felt something move. When she pulled out the swab, she saw what looked like bug legs.
Her husband woke up to help her, shining a flashlight in her ear. He saw a roach and used tweezers to pull out pieces, but couldn’t get all of it out. They went to the emergency room.
A nurse injected a chemical in her ear to kill it, and Holley said she felt the bug moving for two minutes before it stopped.
An ER doctor then pulled out pieces of it and released her with antibiotics and ear drops.
But after a week, Holley still felt something inside. So she asked her doctor to check it, and they found another leg. More pieces of the bug was pulled out.
She was referred to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor that day, who pulled out the top half of the roach, the head and antennae. It was in her ear for nine days. She said she was furious and disappointed with the ER for not doing enough and making her think it was all out.
Her ear is all clear now and she did not get any physical injuries, except for mental trauma. Holley said the ENT doctor said this often happens to people.
Scientists who study bugs — entomologists — say roaches are searching for food everywhere, and they might be attracted to ear wax.
Holley said she sleeps with ear plugs.
Trump Administration Ends TPS for 85,000 People from Honduras
On Friday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that the U.S. would end temporary protected status (TPS) for over 85,000 people from Honduras, a country in Central America.
The TPS was given out to them in 1998 after Hurricane Mitch devastated the country. Many of them have lived in the U.S. since 1999. Now they will have 18 months to leave the U.S. or find another way to stay, if they qualify for another visa.
The Honduran President, Juan Hernandez, said this was a “hard blow” and tweeted that Honduras will wait for them with open arms.
This is yet another decision by the Trump administration to end TPS status for immigrants. Other groups facing TPS cuts are over 250,000 people from El Salvador, 60,000 people from Haiti, about 15,000 people from Nepal, and about 5,000 from Nicaragua.
U.S. administrations must decide every two years if they will extend the TPS status. Previous administrations have approved extensions continuously since the 1990’s and early 2000’s, but the Trump administration has terminated TPS for more than 425,000 immigrants.