05-20-2018  9:05 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

US Marshals, police arrest Vermont fugitive in Oregon

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service says a missing sex offender from Vermont has been arrested in Oregon.The Marshals say 55-year-old James Rivers was arrested May 16 in Cottage Grove, Oregon, by deputy marshals and local police. It's unclear if he has an attorney.Authorities...

Oregon State study says it's OK to eat placenta after all

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — First experts said eggs are bad for you, then they say it's OK to eat them. Is red wine good for your heart or will it give you breast cancer?Should you eat your placenta?Conflicting research about diets is nothing new, but applying the question to whether new mothers...

State sees need to reduce elk damage in the Skagit Valley

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Elk are easy to spot against the green backdrop of the Skagit Valley, where much of the resident North Cascades elk herd that has grown to an estimated 1,600 is found.For farmers in the area — especially those who grow grass for their cattle or to sell to...

Famed mini sub's control room to become future exhibit

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Naval Undersea Museum at Keyport has a new addition to its archives — the salvaged control room of the legendary, one-of-a-kind Cold War-era miniature submersible NR-1.Adm. Hyman G. Rickover, the father of the nuclear Navy, conceived the idea for the...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Northern states taking down vestiges of racism, intolerance

DETROIT (AP) — A nearly 80-year-old statue depicting a European settler with a weapon in his hand towering over a Native American that some say celebrates white supremacy has been dismantled by crews in southwestern Michigan's Kalamazoo.And at the University of Michigan, regents have voted...

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders...

Guess who's coming to Windsor? Royal ceremony weds cultures

BURLINGTON, New Jersey (AP) — With a gospel choir, black cellist and bishop, Oprah, Serena and Idris Elba in the audience and an African-American mother-of-the-bride, Saturday's wedding of Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle was a blend of the solemn and the soulful.Guess who's...

ENTERTAINMENT

Broadcast networks go for milk-and-cookies comfort this fall

NEW YORK (AP) — If provocative, psyche-jangling shows like "The Handmaid's Tale" are your taste, head directly to streaming or cable. But if you're feeling the urge for milk-and-cookies comfort, broadcast television wants to help.The upcoming TV season will bring more sitcom nostalgia in the...

Met says it has evidence Levine abused or harassed 7 people

NEW YORK (AP) — The Metropolitan Opera said in court documents Friday that it found credible evidence that conductor James Levine engaged in sexually abusive or harassing conduct with seven people that included inappropriate touching and demands for sex acts over a 25-year period.The Met...

'13 Reasons Why' premiere canceled after Texas shooting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix canceled the premiere party for its second season of the teen drama "13 Reasons Why" because of a school shooting near Houston.The streaming service announced the cancellation hours before the scheduled premiere and red carpet event, citing the Friday morning...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Trump Jr. met with Mueller witness during campaign

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump Jr. met during the 2016 campaign with a private military contractor and an...

2018 midterms: An early heat for 2020 Democrats?

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a...

British royal family thanks those who celebrated wedding

LONDON (AP) — The royal family, blessed with fantastic weather and a buoyant public mood at the royal...

Love and fire: Text of Michael Curry's royal wedding address

WINDSOR, England (AP) — And now in the name of our loving, liberating and life-giving God, Father, Son and...

Episcopal bishop Curry gives royal wedding an American flair

WINDSOR, England (AP) — Nothing quite captured the trans-Atlantic nature of Saturday's royal wedding as...

Markle's bridal gown work of Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller

LONDON (AP) — Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy is the master British designer behind the sleek silk...

Residents wade through floodwaters from heavy rains in the Chateau Wein Apartments in Baton Rouge, La., Friday, Aug. 12, 2016. Heavy downpours pounded parts of the central U.S. Gulf Coast on Friday, forcing the rescue of dozens of people stranded in homes by waist-high water and leaving one man dead who became trapped by floodwaters. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, 
MAX BECHERER, Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Robert and Gwen Arceneaux endured a sleepless night Sunday after noticing floodwater creeping into their home — in a neighborhood that had never seen water before.

They gathered up their dogs and a few bags of belongings and fled out the back door, eventually wading through waist-deep water to a passing National Guard truck — joining the more than 20,000 people rescued from their homes in a still-growing tragedy across southern Louisiana.

Now safe at a movie studio-lot-turned-shelter their worries weren't over, as they tried to get medication for Robert, who suffers from lung cancer.

"We need to get somewhere safer," Gwen said, as her dogs panted heavily under the hot sun.

Across southern Louisiana Sunday, residents scrambled to get to safety as rivers and creeks burst their banks, swollen from days of heavy rain that in some areas came close to two feet over a 48-hour period.

In high-water vehicles, boats and helicopters, emergency crews hurried to rescue scores of south Louisiana residents as the governor warned that it was not over. More than 10,000 people are in shelters and the Baton Rouge River Center — usually reserved for major events — was sheltering evacuees.

From the air homes in southwest Louisiana looked more like little islands surrounded by flooded fields. Farmland was covered, streets descended into impassable pools of water, shopping centers were inundated with only roofs of cars peeking above the water.

From the ground it was just as catastrophic.

Drivers tried to navigate treacherous roads where the water lapped at the side or covered the asphalt in a running stream. Abandoned cars were pushed to the side of the road, lawn furniture and children's toys floating through the waters.

The low pressure system that wreaked such havoc moved into Texas, but the National Weather Service warned that there's still danger of fresh floods, as swollen rivers drain toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Most of the rivers have crested, but several are still rising.

The federal government declared a major disaster in the state, specifically in the parishes of Tangipahoa, St. Helena, East Baton Rouge and Livingston. Edwards said President Barack Obama called him and said that "the people of south Louisiana are in his thoughts and prayers and the federal government will be a solid partner."

Edwards called on people to refrain from going out to "sightsee" even as the weather gets better.
Four people have been reported dead, said Devin George, the state registrar for vital records, earlier Sunday. Later Sunday, a woman's body was recovered by divers from inside a flooded vehicle in East Baton Rouge Parish, appearing to raise the death toll to five.

Witnesses said the woman was seen Saturday night attempting to turn around in high water when her vehicle was swept away, said Casey Rayborn Hicks, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.

Authorities worked throughout Sunday to rescue people from cars stranded on a miles-long stretch of Interstate 12 until the governor said on

Twitter late in the day that everyone had been rescued.

One of those stranded motorists was Alex Cobb of Baton Rouge, who spent Saturday night on the interstate before being rescued by a National Guard truck.

She was on her way to a bridal shower she was supposed to host Saturday when flooding closed off the highway.

She ate food intended for the bridal shower and a produce truck about a ¼ mile up the road shared its stock with drivers — giving out fruits and vegetables to people.

Hundreds of people were gathered at Celtic Media Centre in Baton Rouge, some coming in by bus and others by helicopter.

Matthew and Rachel Fitzpatrick, from Brandon, Mississippi, hopped off one of the choppers with her grandparents. The couple had been visiting family in Baton Rouge when the flooding started. They found temporary refuge at Hebron Baptist Church but became trapped by floodwaters Saturday night.

Helicopters started picking people up and flying them to safety Sunday.

Matthew, 29, said between 250 and 300 people were still at the church as of late afternoon Sunday. Water was creeping up to the back of the sanctuary, and they didn't have any food or water there.

"Everybody is just tired and nervous and wanting to see what kind of damage they have to their home," Rachel said.

Gov. Edwards declared a state of emergency Saturday, calling the floods "unprecedented" and "historic." He and his family were even forced to leave the Governor's Mansion when chest-high water filled the basement and electricity was shut off.

In one dramatic rescue Saturday, two men on a boat pulled a woman from a car almost completely underwater, according to video by WAFB.

The woman, who's not initially visible on camera, yells from inside the car: "Oh my god, I'm drowning."

One of the rescuers, David Phung, jumps into the brown water and pulls the woman to safety. She pleads with Phung to get her dog, but he can't find it. After several seconds, Phung takes a deep breath, goes underwater and resurfaces — with the small dog.

As of Sunday morning, some 5,050 people were staying in parish and Red Cross shelters, said Department of Children & Family ServicesSecretary Marketa Garner Walters. Even more people were staying in private shelters like churches.

Other effects from the flooding:
— A hospital in Baton Rouge — Ochsner Medical Center in Baton Rouge's O'Neal campus — has evacuated about 40 patients and is expected to evacuate another 10-15.
— Severe weather damaged AT&T Wireless's equipment and halted service for some customers in the Baton Rouge area.
— Amtrak is busing customers from Jackson, Mississippi to New Orleans instead of using the train.
— Rescuers have taken out hundreds of pets as they go door-to-door searching for people. Lt. Davis Madere from the Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries said he and his teams have rescued at least 100 pets since they started working Friday.
— The head of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says 56 people remain in a shelter because their homes are flooded.
Around Baton Rouge, worried family members tried to locate relatives. Wayne Muse, 68, ran into a police roadblock on Sunday morning in east Baton Rouge, where rapidly rising water is flooding neighborhoods near the juncture of the swollen Amite and Comite rivers.
Muse said he has been trying in vain to reach or contact his 86-year-old mother since Saturday night, when she told him by phone that she had two inches of water inside her retirement home apartment.
"She said they were going to evacuate them but no one could get to them," Muse said.
___
Becherer reported from Walker. Rebecca Santana and Janet McConnaughey contributed from New Orleans.

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