California Wildfires Kill 8; Minneapolis Police Officers Not Charged in Shooting of Thurman Blevins; Anger At Cruise Company After Polar Bear Shot and Killed; Deaf Golfer Tied For Second Place in PGA European Open; Alex Meets Nancy Rourke
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, July 30. Ready for news?
California Wildfires Kill 8
In Redding, California (northern California) wildfires have killed six people and burned over 800 homes. There are several people missing. This fire is named the “Carr Fire.” The fire started last week from a vehicle that had engine problems, and firefighters have struggled to stop it.
A 70-year old woman, Melody Bledsoe, and her two grandchildren, ages 5 and 4, died in their home.
The woman’s husband, Ed, said he took the family’s only vehicle on Thursday and drove it to town to see his doctor, and he didn’t expect the fires to reach his home.
Ed said he got a call from Melody saying they needed him to come and get them because she could see the fire. Ed said emergency workers blocked him from going to the house because the fires were too dangerous. He said he was on the phone with the grandchildren, who told him to hurry up, but it was too late.
There was a search because the three were missing, their bodies were found in the destroyed home, with the children under a wet blanket. It is said the great-grandmother tried to save them, but it was too late.
The other three people who died — they were a fire department inspector, a man operating a bulldozer who was overwhelmed by the fires, and an unidentified sixth person. That makes a total of six.
The fires spread so fast because of dry conditions and hot temperatures, with it being over 100 degrees for several days. There are also strong winds that has pushed the flames, causing “firenadoes,” swirling vortexes of fires. Firefighters say it is very difficult to stop it, struggling to contain it.
There is another wildfire near Yosemite National Park that has killed two firefighters. That fire is called the “Ferguson Fire.”
One firefighter died when he was hit by a falling tree. The other was a fire department bulldozer operator. The bulldozer rolled, killing him.
The fires have closed Yosemite National Park. There are currently over 12 wildfires across California.
Video of Firenado: https://youtu.be/UBAcJ3BP_GM
Minneapolis Police Officers Not Charged in Shooting of Thurman Blevins
Police in Minneapolis, Minnesota has released a bodycam video that shows two officers chasing, shooting, and killing a man, Thurman Blevins, who had a gun with him and was running away.
This happened on June 23. The two Minneapolis officers got a 911 call that there was a man who fired a gun in the air and had a bottle of alcohol.
The two officers were riding in a car together to look for him. When they saw Blevins, who matched the description from the 911 call, they stopped and out of the car.
One officer said, “he’s got a gun!”
Blevins ran away, and both officers chase after him down a street. One officer pointed his gun at him as he was running.
The officer told him to drop the gun, but Blevins said he didn’t do anything and told officers to leave him alone, asking them to please don’t shoot. He was saying this as he was running.
An officer warned that he had to put his hands up or he would shoot him. They used profanity, the F word. They said they would f------ shoot him.
Blevins ran into an alley. Under pursuit, he did pull out his gun, but was still running away, not looking back, instead looking forward, with the gun in his hand. But when he turned his head to look back, the officers immediately opened fire.
There were at least 14 gunshots in total. Blevins, hit by the gunfire, stumbled to the ground, was bleeding, and appeared (from the video) to pass away quickly. You can see the video at the link in the transcript.
It is not clear if Blevins fired a shot or not. When I watched the video, it didn’t look like he fired, but I was able to see that he pulled a gun out.
The video shows Blevins’ gun on the ground next to his body and officers kicking it away as they surrounded him. That was the end.
During the past few weeks, there were protests with many suspecting Blevins was unarmed. But the video shows he had a gun.
But many are angry at the police, with people saying the officers were never threatened by Blevins, that they shot him in his back as he was running away. They objected to this.
Prosecutors say they will not charge the two officers for the shooting. They put the blame on Blevins and said he posed a threat to the officers’ safety — adding that the gun was loaded.
Today there was a press conference to announce that there will be no charges, there were protesters who interrupted it and took over the podium, showing their frustrations.
Anger At Cruise Company After Polar Bear Shot and Killed
Many people are mad at a German cruise company, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, after one of their employees shot and killed a polar bear on an island in Norway.
This happened on Saturday. The cruise was on a trip to Svalbard, which is a group of islands in the cold Arctic Ocean.
The cruises allow tourists to visit the island on foot. But before this they usually send “polar bear guards” who are tasked with checking the area first to make sure it was safe before allowing tourists to come.
The four guards on Saturday went on land, but they said they didn’t realize there was a polar bear right there. They didn’t notice it. The bear attacked a guard. Another guard saw this and shot and killed the bear. They said it was for self defense.
The cruise company posted on Facebook an apology and an explanation about what happened. They said the guard who was attacked was injured in his head, was airlifted to a hospital, and is recovering and will be okay.
The company said they are extremely sorry and that they are a company that is aware of their responsibility with the environment and wildlife.
Many people criticized the company and the tourists for causing this, the shooting — saying it was the polar bear’s territory.
The World Wildlife Fund categorizes polar bears as a vulnerable species. There are about 25,000 of them in the world, and 3,000 in the Svalbard area.
This is not the first time or a rare incident. It does happen in the area. There is a Norwegian website for information on people who want to go to the area by themselves to visit, hike, or camp in the islands. The website warns them about polar bears and recommends them to bring big-game rifles and ammo.
The website says almost every year a polar bear is killed there because of human confrontations and/or because of safety.
Deaf Golfer Tied For Second Place in PGA European Open
A deaf golfer from Germany, Allen John, came in second place in a PGA European Tour tournament in Germany.
Allen won the Deaflypmics gold medal in golf in 2017 in Samsun, Turkey. Now he came in second place in a big tournament.
An article on Golf.com says he is an amateur and got a sponsor’s exemption to play in the tournament.
He did a very good job, getting a 5-under par 67, a low score, in his final round. He beat many other well-known professional golfers to climb up and finish tied for second place.
He could have been in a four-way tie playoff for the trophy, but the winner, Richard McEvoy, sunk a 20-foot putt to win. There were three others who were tied.
Allen couldn’t keep a check of 170,000 euros. He could have “won” the check but can’t keep it because he is an amateur.
An article in Golf Digest said he played college golf at Georgia State from 2008 to 2011, turned pro for a brief time, then went back to being an amateur.
Allen said he got a lot of self-confidence from finishing in second place, and is considering going back to being a pro.
He posted on Instagram a picture of him walking. He said he is still at loss of words, that it was an unreal experience. He said he got chills when he walked to the 18th green. People were cheering on him.
You can follow him on Instagram at @ajgolf87, he also has a Facebook page. Congratulations to Allen.
Alex Meets Nancy Rourke
Alex: Hello! I am here with the famous Nancy Rourke!
Alex: You live here in Loveland?
Nancy: Loveland, yes.
Alex: It is an hour north of Denver?
Nancy: Yes, that’s right.
Alex: She said she has been making art for 9 years and she has completed over 3,000 paintings. Wow. How many do you do in a week on average?
Nancy: It really depends on the size. I’d say maybe five paintings.
Alex: Wow. It’s always with the same colors, yellow, blue, black, and red?
Nancy: Yes. They have meanings. Each color has a meaning.
Alex: Can you tell us?
Nancy: Sure. Red means power, empowerment. Yellow means hope, to look forward or light for deaf people to see as they need it, and blue means oppression.
Alex: Wow. There is a meaning behind every color.
[Video pans to show various paintings by Rourke]
Nancy: This is different. This is a new format. What is different is I use house paints, latex paints, for something different. They come in big pails, it’s cheaper. I save money and can continue to paint. This one is not yet framed, I’ll roll it up.
Alex: Nice. It’s beautiful. A-S-L.
Can you show me that? [Points to a painting of Alex in a moth with a bulb]
Wow, that’s real nice! It’s beautiful. Who’s that?
Nancy: Who’s that?
[Alex does the “Daily Moth” handshape]
Alex: It’s nice, real beautiful.
Nancy: I did this during a February challenge.
Alex: Yes, that was two years ago, right? Let me hold that for you.
Nancy: What was the motif? It was “Moth.” I thought of you, and why not? I painted it.
Alex: It’s beautiful.
Nancy: What is the title? “Stay with the light.”
Alex: Perfect! Beautiful. I love it.
Thank you so much. I am very honored to be painted by you.
Nancy: Honored to meet you.
Alex: If you want to check her out -- do you have a website or Facebook? Where can people find you?
Nancy: Find me? Oh on Facebook -- “Nancy Rourke Paintings” or “Nancy Rourke.” It’s simple, just type my name.
Alex: So check her on Facebook, Nancy Rourke.
I’m very happy and honored to meet you!
Nancy: Same here.
See that video? I met with Nancy Rourke who gave me that very nice artwork. This was at the 258 Deaf Street Festival in Denver, Colorado. I was there on Saturday to provide live streaming of the events and the evening part. I really enjoyed myself there. It was great to meet some of you who watch “The Daily Moth.” I sold t-shirts, interacted with people. If you want to see what I filmed, go to Daily Moth Facebook, there are many live videos. You can also look at 258 Deaf Street (258 Deaf St.) on Facebook. They have plenty of things you can look at.
That is all for today! See you tomorrow and stay with the light!