Saturday, October 22, 2005

Hurricane Wilma: Evening Update

Hurricane Wilma: Midday Update

More Wilma News Images

Hurricane Wilma: Recent Update

Friday, October 21, 2005

More Hurricane Wilma Pictures

An unidentified tourist prepares to get drenched by the waves crashing at the Marriott Resort in Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, the largest of the Cayman Islands, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005. Hurricane Wilma moved away from the Cayman Islands but residents and tourists are still feeling rough seas and battering waves on the south and west coasts. (AP Photo/Caymanian Compass, Justin Uzzell)
Resident Bryan Picco throws a cast net for baitfish at dusk as overcast skies from Hurricane Wilma loom above in Sanibel Island, Florida October 21, 2005. Hurricane Wilma slammed into Mexico's famed Caribbean beach resorts on Friday with screaming winds that flattened trees and signposts and trapped thousands of tourists inside cramped shelters. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
A Cuban man looks into a workers' dining room destroyed by a tornado in Calderon in Pinar del Rio province, Cuba October 21, 2005. Cuba was reeling as rains drenched the west of the island, unleashing tornadoes that destroyed tobacco-curing sheds and homes while Hurricane Wilma slammed into Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Wilma became the strongest Atlantic storm on record in terms of barometric pressure on Wednesday. Cuba evacuated 368,000 people from low-lying areas as it braced for coastal storm surges and floods. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
Waves flood a house in the evacuated town of Boca de Galafre, in Pinar del Rio province, Cuba October 21, 2005. Cuba was reeling as rains drenched the west of the island, unleashing tornadoes that destroyed tobacco-curing sheds and homes while Hurricane Wilma slammed into Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Wilma became the strongest Atlantic storm on record in terms of barometric pressure on Wednesday. Cuba evacuated 368,000 people from low-lying areas as it braced for coastal storm surges and floods. REUTERS/Claudia Daut Also see: Hurricane Wilma News Photos / Pictures Digest

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UPDATED 4 PM CDT: Hurricane Wilma Officially Makes Landfall

Goodbye to the Good Hands?

Hurricane Damaged Home In Biloxi
Good-bye to 'Good Hands?' Allstate scaling back coverage in Gulf

Local television station WPMI is reporting that Allstate Insurance is now scaling back its homeowners coverage in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina wipes out its profits.

This move by Allstate is not unusual. Last year, it chose not to re-new coverage for some 95,000 homeowners in Florida, and also wasted no time in raising rates there.

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Local Tension: 30
Gravity: 100

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Report 1 PM CDT: Northeast Yucatan Taking A Horrific Pounding

Satellite animation shows that extremely dangerous Cat. 4 Hurricane Wilma has slowed its Northwest motion to only 4 MPH. The big eye is still over Cozumel Island.

The 12Z Global GFS model run is in. This is the primary forecast model used by the National Weather Service. Most Hurricane forecast models are derived from its initialization. Finally, we are getting good continuity.

The GFS tracks Wilma ashore across the extreme Northeast Yucatan around 8pm EDT tonight. It reemerges The Hurricane into the extreme Southern Gulf around 8pm Saturday night. That’s only 24-hours over the flat Peninsula surrounded by water.

Yucatan land interaction is the “whole key” for South Florida. Should Wilma just skirt the coast, or remain over land for a lesser period of time…we would still have a strong Hurricane to deal with.

The GFS accelerates Wilma to about 150 miles East of the Florida Keys by sunrise Monday. It then takes the Hurricane rapidly into extreme South Florida by midday Monday.

If Wilma lingers over the Yucatan for less than 24-hours…look for a Category 2 “significant” Hurricane to strike South Florida and the Keys.

Again, the track of Wilma the next 12 to 24 hours will determine its strength in Florida.

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Most E-mailed Picture: Hurricane Wilma Approaches

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Katrina Claims Shows Pattern of Questionable Payments

'It was Christmas'

With hundreds of thousands forced from homes battered by Hurricane Katrina, the federal government cut red tape to rush $2,000 checks and debit cards to help victims pay for clothes, food, transportation and a place to live.

The Federal Emergency Man agement Agency intended the aid for displaced Gulf Coast families and limited it to one payment per household. But in three Louisiana parishes, FEMA issued more checks than there are households, at a cost to taxpayers of at least $70 million, a South Florida Sun-Sentinel investigation has found.

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Tension: 50
Gravity: 100

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

New Political Novels Vilify Republicans, Democrats

Elephant and Donkey Fight
Political Books Make the Rounds

'Saints' fend off 'snakes' in Boxer's political novel

Sen. Barbara Boxer's debut novel soon to be published targets Republicans as mostly villains in "A Time to Run," a tale jointly written penned by the California Democrat and co-author Mary-Rose Hayes. Boxer portrays Republicans as "snakes" and Democrats as "saints" in the book, which chronicles the adventures of a woman who assumes her husband's Senate seat after he is killed, then tries to derail the nomination of a conservative woman to the Supreme Court.

How Hillary Became A Storybook Villain

Hillary Clintion becomes the wicked witch of left in the conservative picture book for kids, Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed! Steeped in Republican values, the book was written as an alternative to Left-leaning children's tales such as King and King whose royal hero finds true love in a gay marriage and Heather Has Two Mommies about a little girl with lesbian parents.

Political Tension: 50/50
Gravity: 100

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Wilma Threat Moves Dolphins-Chiefs Game To Friday Night

Game rescheduled

MIAMI -- The threat of Hurricane Wilma hitting South Florida has forced the NFL to reschedule Sunday's game between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs to Friday, Oct. 21.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue moved the game from Sunday, Oct. 23 to 7:00 p.m. (et) Friday at Dolphins Stadium.

Miami (2-3) last played the Chiefs (3-2) on September 29, 2002 and suffered a 48-30 setback at Arrowhead Stadium. However, the Dolphins have won five of the last six meetings.

Copyright 2005. Courtesy of SportsNetwork.

Storm Related Tension: 100
Gravity: 50

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No 'Holiday' For Crime On Evacuee Cruise Ship

Carnival Ship Holiday: Mobile, Al BayCam -- Refresh browser for latest view -- click for larger image
Cruise Ship Holiday on Mobile BayCam
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From Mobile Register

Nearly 30 arrests ranging from domestic violence to drug possession have been made on the Holiday cruise ship in Mobile since Hurricane Katrina evacuees moved in a month ago, a police spokesman said.

The arrest rate on board the ship during its service as an evacuee shelter has been significantly higher per thousand people than the average arrest rates in Alabama and Mississippi, according to available criminal statistics.

Police received 98 calls summoning officers to the Carnival Cruise Line ship from Sept. 17 through Monday, Oct. 17, according to information provided by Cpl. Marcus Young, police spokesman. The Mobile Police Department is responsible for security on board the ship, which is docked in downtown.

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Local Tension: Predicatable
Gravity: 25

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Sheehan Compares 'War Hawk' Hillary to Rush

Cindy Sheehan
Sheehan tears into Clinton for Iraq support, compares her to radio's Rush Limbaugh

( Oct. 19 -- Cindy Sheehan, the so-called "peace mom" on a crusade to end U.S. involvement in the Iraq war, is publicly blasting Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., for her continued support of the ongoing conflict.

"I think she is a political animal who believes she has to be a war hawk to keep up with the big boys," Sheehan writes in an open letter posted on anti-Bush filmmaker Michael Moore's website. "I would love to support Hillary for president if she would come out against the travesty in Iraq. But I don't think she can speak out against the occupation, because she supports it. I will not make the mistake of supporting another pro-war Democrat for president again: As I won't support a pro-war Republican."

"That sounds like Rush Limbaugh to me," Sheehan said. "That doesn't sound like an opposition party leader speaking to me.

"There's trouble in paradise out there on the far left extreme which has become the Democrat base," Limbaugh responded today on his national radio program.

On a political messageboard online, one writer notes, "Who would have thought that Hillary's candidacy could be in trouble because she's not far enough to the left?"

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Democrat Tension: 33
Gravity: Protesting

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Chertoff: FEMA Is Ready for Wilma

Bush & Chertoff
"I'm not a hurricane expert"

WASHINGTON Oct 19, 2005 — Most of FEMA's problems in dealing with disasters can be fixed with better planning, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told Congress on Wednesday. "We are going to be very prepared for Hurricane Wilma," he said of the storm on the horizon.

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Nervous Tension: 100
Gravity: 200

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

NewsMax: Bill O'Reilly Hires Bodyguards, May Retire

Bill O'Reilly
"Anyone can accuse me of anything and it's on a Web site"

"Now it's so bad that I spend an enormous amount of money protecting myself against evil," declares Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly, who says his enemies have become so vicious that he's mulling retiring from his top-rated TV show.

He has also hired bodyguards to protect himself.

The liberal media establishment is mostly behind the rising tide of hatred because "it can't marginalize me," O'Reilly told Newsday's Verne Gay in a rare interview published Tuesday.

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Also see: Fox News and

No Spin Tension: 180
Gravity: Conservative tolerance supports liberal intolerance

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FEMA To Help Track Registered Sex Offenders

FEMA agrees to help authorities track registered sex offenders

Mobile, Ala. -- FEMA officials have agreed to check whether sex offenders who evacuated after Hurricane Katrina have registered for federal aid.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it would then notify communities across the country that might have sexual offenders living within them.

By law, registered sex offenders must notify authorities where they're living. But when thousands fled Katrina, many slipped through the cracks. FEMA who offered disaster assistance at a site at the Mobile Civic Center and other locations around the country, is now offering authorities a lead to locate them. If a state requests it, FEMA will check it's database of those who registered for federal aid to see where displaced sex offenders ended up.

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Local Tension: 50
Gravity: Nextdoor

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Monday, October 17, 2005 Launches Beta of News Search Engine

Inform logo is a tool that may revolutionize news on the Web says they will provide thousands of news sources and blogs in a convenient single interface and process the news.

Inform's differentiating technology uses a series of information structuring techniques and natural-language interpretation to auto-categorize and group news stories into thousands of categories, and then shreds the text of the stories to isolate the important elements of each. Once the elements have been identified, the user can easily connect and read news on any person, place, organization, topic, industry or product quickly, successfully, and easily right from the article you're reading, or by utilizing a custom news channel.

Since the product is in beta release, any review is uninformed and premature.


Tension: 5
Gravity: 30

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AOL To Use Intelliseek's BlogPulse To Provide Content About Blogosphere

America Online Disc
AOL jumps into blogging with both feet

Clickz Network -- On the heels of its acquisition of Weblogs Inc., AOL has done a deal with Intelliseek's BlogPulse to receive daily blog data and trend analysis.

The word-of-mouth measurement firm will provide AOL with blog data, statistics, trend charts and blog entries. The publisher will feature the data on its network, allowing visitors to its sites to keep up with blog chatter and buzz.

AOL Community Vice President Bill Schreiner said the company's aim was to keep visitors to the AOL network connected and informed about what bloggers are talking about.

Intelliseek will provide AOL with lists of top blogs; top blog posts; top news stories and news sources cited by bloggers; top links being shared by bloggers; and top personalities being discussed by bloggers. AOL will also receive feeds from BlogPulse's own blogs, which discuss blog activity and entertainment.

Intelliseek's BlogPulse search engine indexes more than 17 million blogs.

Read PR Newswire Press Release.

See related story: Blogs Shrink News Cycle

Blogger Tension: Rising
Gravity: Some

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Post Hurricane: Casinos to Rebuild, Reshape Gulf Coast

Casino Barge Displaced By Katrina
Lawmakers vote to allow the Mississippi's coastal casinos, once on barges, to build up to 800 feet inland

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) -- After Hurricane Katrina destroyed and heavily damage all 13 casinos along the Gulf Coast, the state's gaming industry is preparing for the future -- which may include megaresorts.

Lawmakers voted to allow the state's coastal casinos to build up to 800 feet inland.

M.G.M. Mirage chairman Terry Lanni says an advantage of the storm is the chance to develop a more exciting resort to attract more people. M.G.M. has already started repairing its Beau Rivage in Biloxi. When the resort reopens in 12 to 16 months, M.G.M. Mirage will have invested more than $1 billion in the property -- on par with Las Vegas Strip hotel-casinos like Mandalay Bay and The Mirage.

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Local Tension: Easing up
Gravity: 100

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Mobile, Alabama Shipyard To Build New Navy Warship

Navy contract to bring 350 jobs to Mobile shipyard

MOBILE, Ala. -- Austal USA expects 350 new jobs at its Mobile shipyard will come with the Navy's $223 million contract for a new warship.The contract was awarded Friday to Falls Church, Va.-based General Dynamics Corp., the prime defense contractor that has teamed with Austal to build a version of the Navy's new Littoral Combat Ship, or LCS.

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Local Tension: Relieved
Gravity: 100

Mobile, Alabama BayCam

Mobile Alabama BayCam

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