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Green Lantern

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Green Lantern last won the day on December 6 2018

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  1. Jennifer Rousseau will drive more than 1,600 miles out of Bay County, Florida — away from her hurricane-ravaged mobile home and the tent she lived in for weeks — until she reaches her new life in land-locked Durango, Colorado, this week. Rousseau, 34, didn’t have enough money to evacuate when Hurricane Michael, the Florida Panhandle region’s worst storm on record, made landfall in early October. But now she’s willing to do whatever she can to move away from the coast in hopes of ensuring she doesn’t end up in the middle of another superstorm. “I feel like I survived Michael, and I’m trying to get away. I don’t want no part of the storms that are coming through,” said Rousseau, who’s unemployed and disabled. “I believe it’s going to get a lot worse around here. I’m moving way, way away from hurricanes.” Rousseau’s circumstances aren’t unusual for a recovering storm survivor; natural disasters often force people from their homes, at least temporarily. But residents of the Panhandle who spoke to VICE News said the prospect of even more intense storms, and the subsequently difficult recoveries, made them want to leave. Their fears aren’t unfounded. Over the next century, landfalling hurricanes will grow more intense due to warming ocean waters, according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, a government-commissioned report compiled by more than 300 scientists. (Separately, some scientists have hypothesized that climate change played a role in Hurricane Michael’s rapid intensification, although it’s not certain.) In just the last two Atlantic hurricane seasons, for example, eight major hurricanes — slightly more than average — have made landfall in the U.S. If such devastating storms become more frequent, they’ll bring with them a cascade of economic, infrastructure, and social burdens that could cause more people to move from coastal cities, according to the report. For those in places like Panama City, sticking around and risking another Michael — or even a potentially worse storm — already didn’t make sense. Jennifer Rousseau's mobile home after Hurricane Michael. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Rousseau) Hurricane Michael hit Panama City, a community of about 36,000 nestled between resort destinations, on Oct. 10 with 155 mph winds. The storm’s sheer force decimated more than 60 percent of the area’s homes, which drove up remaining rental prices, according to the Tampa Bay Times. With many local businesses still closed seven weeks later, some newly unemployed survivors don’t have a reliable income to adequately meet the challenges of the aftermath. Tent cities have sprung up in church parking lots. Damaged schools have left students re-enrolling in other districts in the middle of the academic year. One large hospital now provides emergency services only and plans to re-open at a quarter of its original size next year. In general, recovery could take years, especially factoring in other extreme weather events. “We don’t have unlimited funds to spend on disaster recovery,” said Miyuki Hino, a Stanford University researcher studying coastal climate change adaptation. “One concern is the frequency of the events that we’re seeing is making it harder and harder for these resources to get to the places that need it.” TO STAY OR GO? Andrea Shoemaker wrestled with the idea of staying in her hometown of Lynn Haven, just outside Panama City, to deal with the storm’s aftermath. Luckily, Hurricane Michael left her family’s rental home intact — but destroyed the water and sewer lines, which rendered the property temporarily unlivable. The neighborhood’s destruction shocked her 9-year-old son so much that he laughed hysterically the first time they drove back into town after the storm. After weeks of debating, Shoemaker, 38, finally decided that she couldn’t stomach the same sort of chaos — or worse — twice. “We had to go. I know that the storms are getting stronger,” Shoemaker said. “I don’t want to put my family through that again. Even though my dream is to have my kid grow up where I grew up, I know that for his childhood it might be feasible, but after that it’s not going to be.” Shoemaker arrived in Houston, her husband’s hometown, on Monday, and she’s hoping they can both get back to work sometime soon. (He’s a police officer and she works in the legal profession.) Already, Bay County wasn’t a “great place to live, financially,” she said. "We had to go. I know that the storms are getting stronger." Extreme weather events like Hurricane Michael can put more stress on an already-strained local economy. If local businesses shut down and jobs are lost, for example, people might struggle to scrounge up enough money to rebuild. If someone like Shoemaker doesn’t feel they can feasibly move back into their home anytime soon, they might take their money or services to another town. Hurricane Michael, for instance, slammed the Gulf Coast with $30 billion in combined economic losses, including storm damage, according to early estimates. The Haas Center at the University of West Florida also estimated the storm resulted in the loss of nearly 9,300 jobs. And that still pales in comparison to Puerto Rico, which will lose an estimated 14 percent of its population — nearly half a million people — before 2019 due to Hurricane Maria, the Category 4 storm that slammed into the island in September 2017 and pushed many of the island’s poor into extreme poverty. Population and rates of affordable housing in New Orleans, for example, still haven’t returnedto pre-Katrina levels. “This is going to take time, and it’s not going to be easy to come to solutions here,” said Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “Slowly but surely Mother Nature is going to remind us that our entire economy is on the line.” Jennifer Rousseau's mobile home after Hurricane Michael. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Rousseau) When President Donald Trump visited the states most impacted by Hurricane Michael in October, however, he declined to acknowledge any impact of climate change. Last week, he more plainly rejected the findings of the government-commissioned climate assessment in comments to reporters. The state’s outgoing and incoming governors, Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis, respectively, have largely avoided any mention of climate change as well. With all the politicking, Mellisa Shields, 32, felt compelled to research climate change herself for the first time a few weeks ago. Before Hurricane Michael, she didn’t pay much mind to headlines about climate change. But now, she’s worried her kids won’t “grow up and have a full life.” The storm smashed in all the windows of her mobile home, and she estimates fixing the damage will cost about $15,000, especially now that the black mold has set in. “I don’t got that,” she said. But Shields isn’t planning to leave Panama City. Her mobile home is still somewhat livable, and she’s near her support system and family. Her kids, for example, are staying with her mother while Shields guards her mobile home from looting. But to her, everyone else seems to be leaving town. “They’re moving everywhere,” she said. “My kid’s class had 22 kids in it, and now, it’s got 10.”
  2. CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A 61-year-old woman is accused of pouring hot grease on another person during a dispute. Charlene Thompson was embroiled in an argument when she dumped the grease on the victim Sunday at a residence on Hawaiian Terrace in Mt. Airy, court records show. The victim suffered severe burns to their back and arm, court records show. Cincinnati police officers said the injuries were visible when they arrived on scene. Thompson was arrested on a charge of felonious assault and booked into the Hamilton County jail. At the time of her arrest, Thompson was wanted on two outstanding warrants for criminal damaging or endangering, court records show. Charlene Thompson 1997 (Levy, Audra She is accused twice between November 2016 and March 2017 of throwing rocks at a male neighbor’s windows, breaking them in the most recent offense, police wrote in criminal complaints. Thompson also was charged with assault and criminal damaging or endangerment and criminal trespass in 2008, court records show. Cincinnati police wrote in a criminal complaint she punched a victim in the face, “causing physical harm" on March 11, 2008. The charge was dismissed on Aug. 6, 2008., according to court records that do not indicate why. A 2008 charge of disorderly conduct while intoxicated also was dismissed shortly after it was filed. Cincinnati police accused her of kicking an officer and spitting several times in the back of a police car and on an officer on July 21, 2008, criminal complaint shows. And she was charged with domestic violence for allegedly striking her daughter in the mouth and back of the head, injuring her daughter’s hand while the daughter was protecting herself, on Christmas Eve Dec. 24 2006, police wrote in an affidavit. That charge also was later dismissed, on Feb. 21, 2007, court records show. Thompson was convicted of criminal trespass in August 2007 following a June 2007 arrest on accusations she entered an assisted living facility without permission and hit a resident, records state. She also was charged with assault at that time, but the charge was dropped when she was convicted in a plea on Aug. 13, 2007, according to court records. View image on Twitter 61 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy Copyright 2018 WXIX. All rights reserved.
  3. Robot cars are now officially a real business. Waymo on Wednesday launched a commercial robot ride-hailing service in Arizona called Waymo One. Like Uber or Lyft, customers will summon a ride with a smartphone app. But in this case, the car will be driving itself. “This is a game changer. It’s historical in nature,” said Grayson Brulte, who heads driverless car consulting firm Brulte & Co. Only “a few hundred customers” will have access to the app and participate in the early stages, according to Waymo, which is an arm of Google parent Alphabet Inc. Although the cars will drive themselves, a Waymo engineer will sit behind the wheel in case anything goes wrong. Waymo did not say when the cars will start arriving without a human minder or when the program will be expanded. Waymo’s cars, Chrysler Pacifica minivans bristling with autonomous driving technology, are available in several eastern and southeastern Phoenix suburbs, including Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert. The fares are similar to those charged by Uber and Lyft. Waymo One robotaxi start screen (Waymo) Waymo has ferried Phoenix-area passengers in robot cars since April 2017 in what the company calls its Early Rider program. Unlike Early Rider — which Waymo will continue — Waymo One customers won’t be required to sign nondisclosure agreements and won’t be expected to continually provide feedback about their experience. Waymo One represents the beginnings of a business that could be worth a lot of money. How much, no one yet knows: Wall Street estimates of Waymo’s market value, should it be spun off, range from $50 billion to $175 billion. Waymo began driverless-car development in 2009. Although dozens of companies, from small start-ups to major motor vehicle manufacturers, are developing driverless systems, Waymo is considered the emerging industry’s leader — in large part because of Google’s expertise in mapping and machine learning combined with the rich ample investment dollars churned out by Google’s search advertising money machine. There appears to be far more demand for the service than Waymo is able or willing to provide at present. The Early Rider program attracted 20,000 applicants, the company said, but only about 400 were chosen. A big reason for the slo-mo nature of commercial rollout, according to Waymo, is safety. “Self-driving technology is new to many, so we’re proceeding carefully with the comfort and convenience of our riders in mind,” Waymo Chief Executive John Krafcik said in a statement. The emerging driverless car industry suffered a blow in March when an Uber robot car hit and killed a pedestrian in Arizona. The experimental vehicle, with an apparently inattentive Uber employee behind the wheel, plowed into a woman walking a bicycle across a highway at night. Although the pedestrian wasn’t in a crosswalk, neither the human driver nor the driverless system applied the brakes until after the woman was hit. Deaths involving Tesla’s Autopilot system have also drawn headlines, although Autopilot is not intended to be used as an autonomous system. Practically every company developing driverless cars uses a combination of radar, optical, ultrasound and lidar sensors — except Tesla, which has said expensive lidar, which uses laser light to detect objects, will not be necessary for the driverless cars it plans to deploy. Even if robot cars prove safer than human drivers — one of the intended aims — bad publicity from freak accidents or manufacturer missteps could slow the technology’s acceptance by the general public and political representatives. The Phoenix area was chosen deliberately for its friendliness to driverless cars — and not just because of the support of Arizona’s governor and local officials. (Regulations on driverless cars are less stringent in Arizona than in California.) The flat, snow-free desert terrain, the well-kept and well-marked roads, the scarcity of trees to block street signs, and sun-blasted sidewalks on which few pedestrians tread all lend themselves to early robot car deployment. Other companies are planning to take on more challenging environments. GM-Cruise announced plans to offer a commercial robotaxi service on the streets of San Francisco by the end of this year, but according to Reuters technical problems have delayed the rollout.
  4. Representatives Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins campaigned this fall while out on bail for felony charges. Representative Greg Gianforte had been convicted of misdemeanor assault. Senator Bob Menendez’s trial on bribery and fraud charges had resulted in a hung jury. How did voters respond? All four were re-elected last month, Mr. Menendez by 10 percentage points. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi wasn’t burdened with legal problems in her runoff election last week, but she did face an uproar after saying she would attend “a public hanging” if a key supporter asked her to — a controversial comment in a state that holds the historical record for the highest number of lynchings. Ms. Hyde-Smith won, too. Now, as dozens of Democrats consider running for president, the recent success of candidates with varying degrees of baggage has revived interest in a question that has absorbed politicians and strategists since President Trump’s surprise victory two years ago: What, if anything, matters? Could the plagiarism allegation that Joseph R. Biden Jr. faced in 1988 still be a problem? Mr. Biden dismissed complaints that he lifted passages for his speeches as “much ado about nothing,” but ended his presidential campaign six days later. What about “T-Bone,” a figure in Cory Booker’s stump speeches in 2007, who the senator from New Jersey was accused of making up? At the time Mr. Booker insisted T-Bone was “1,000 percent a real person,” but has never mentioned him again. “The rise of Donald Trump was a game changer. We are living in a stage of new normalcy,” said Michael Avenatti, the liberal lawyer who rose to fame representing the pornographic star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Mr. Trump, and who had been talking himself up as a 2020 contender. Mr. Avenatti was arrested last month on suspicion of domestic violence. Addressing the issue in an interview last week, he said, “I don’t think that any of it is disqualifying, but it depends on how it plays out.” Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, Republican of Mississippi, prevailed in a runoff election last week, despite remarks that she would attend “a public hanging” if a key supporter asked her to.CreditJonathan Bachman/Reuters Image Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, Republican of Mississippi, prevailed in a runoff election last week, despite remarks that she would attend “a public hanging” if a key supporter asked her to.CreditJonathan Bachman/Reuters But on Tuesday, hours after this article was published online, Mr. Avenatti announced that he would not pursue a presidential bid “out of respect” for his family. “But for their concerns, I would run,” he said in a statement. Strategists from both parties agree that once-controversial issues like divorce, sexuality, moderate drug use and the evergreen mistake of cursing on a hot mic are no longer fatal for political careers. Character issues still pose a threat, yet Mr. Trump faced an array of them — from honesty and extramarital behavior to alleged abuse of women — and he won the presidency. “It used to be you couldn’t run if you had an affair. Well, that’s certainly not true anymore,” said former Representative Tom Davis, who took over their chairmanship of the National Republican Congressional Committee at the end of the Clinton administration. “The voters have made their decisions on those types of issues.” While many American politicians have weathered controversy so long as their supporters stuck by them, candidates and strategists say Mr. Trump has offered a new playbook for moving past even the most serious charges, one successfully deployed by both Mr. Hunter and Mr. Collins during their midterm races: Never apologize, always play offense, attack the “fake news,” and, finally, distract from the issue by kick-starting a new controversy. It’s a tactic that the president has used to combat a long list of problems, from the special counsel investigation to his personal finances. The crowded Democratic primary contest will offer the highest-profile test yet of whether the Trump era’s reality show rules about controversy apply beyond the protagonist-in-chief. The question now facing the potential contenders and their campaigns is not whether they have baggage, but what problems are likely to stick. The flood of money into politics after the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling in the Citizens United case may mean that a pay-for-play scandal now must come with a far higher price tag to affect voters, for instance. Joseph R. Biden Jr. has faced questions about his role leading the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, which included harsh questioning of Anita Hill.CreditGreg Gibson/Associated Press Image Joseph R. Biden Jr. has faced questions about his role leading the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, which included harsh questioning of Anita Hill.CreditGreg Gibson/Associated Press “Because people are so accustomed to money in politics, they just don’t think $10,000 buys a member of Congress,” says Steven D’Amico, a Democratic opposition researcher. “You need to be able to show they’ve taken millions, or at least hundreds of thousands.” While some political bars have fallen, the rise of the activist progressive wing of the Democratic Party may impose a new set of purity tests for primary candidates. Already, Mr. Biden has struggled to address his role leading the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, which featured harshly prosecutorial questioning of Anita Hill. Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, raised eyebrows when he questioned elements of the #MeToo movement. Last year, nearly a dozen high-profile members of Congress from both parties accused of sexual assault and harassment retired rather than face re-election in the #MeToo era. Their ranks included former Senator Al Franken, who resigned under pressure from his female colleagues after multiple reports of sexual misconduct. Since Mr. Franken’s resignation last January, some Democratic donors have grumbled that the #MeToo movement went too far in his case, and blamed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for forcing out Mr. Franken to further her own career. The divide over Mr. Franken’s decision within the party underscores the uncertainty around how significant the politics of #MeToo would be in the primary race. (Ms. Gillibrand is weighing a 2020 run.) “It’s more unpredictable, what people latch on to,” said Mr. D’Amico, who ran opposition research on Mr. Trump for American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic super PAC. “There’s going to be instances where some people in the base think breaking with them on one small issue means that candidate isn’t with them on everything.” Perhaps no one recognizes the changed environment more than former politicians like Jeff Smith, a ex-Missouri state senator who served a year in jail for violating federal election law by approving — and later lying about — anonymous mailers that attacked his primary opponent in a 2004 congressional race. Supporters for Senator Bob Menendez at a victory party in November, when he won re-election. His trial on bribery and fraud charges resulted in a hung jury.CreditBryan Anselm for The New York Times Image Supporters for Senator Bob Menendez at a victory party in November, when he won re-election. His trial on bribery and fraud charges resulted in a hung jury.CreditBryan Anselm for The New York Times “Sometimes I do find myself wishing I’d signed a false affidavit about a campaign postcard in 2018 rather than 2004,” said Mr. Smith, a Democrat. “It’s like a different world now.” While some strategists argue that Mr. Trump’s election shows voters are craving authenticity, even when that means a record that includes some past mistakes, others argue the president has polarized the country so much that refusing to admit any missteps may be the best path to rally support. “If Richard Nixon had Twitter and Fox News, would he ever have resigned?” said Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist who worked for the former House majority leader Tom DeLay as a spokesman during Mr. DeLay’s indictment for illegal campaign donations. “I don’t think he would have, and I think he would have survived.” During his recent Senate race in Texas, Representative Beto O’Rourke apologized for several years-old incidents, including writing demeaning commentary about women in a review for his university’s student newspaper and a 1998 arrest for drunken driving. Mr. O’Rourke, a Democrat who is now weighing a presidential bid, said he was “ashamed” of his comments and described the arrest as “serious mistake for which there is no excuse.” He used that incident, along with another, earlier arrest for jumping a fence, to issue a broad call for criminal justice reform in a Houston Chronicle/San Antonio Express-News op-ed piece. In Ohio, Senator Sherrod Brown, another Democrat eyeing 2020, took a far different approach when Republicans seized on court records from his 1986 divorce, which included allegations that Mr. Brown “bullied” and shoved his ex-wife, Larke Recchie. A video posted on a site linked to a Republican political firm accused Mr. Brown of having his “own #MeToo moment from his past.” His opponent, Representative Jim Renacci, said he found the “well-documented history of domestic violence deeply troubling.” Mr. Brown, Ms. Recchie and his current wife slammed Mr. Renacci for attacking their families, saying the issue was a private matter that had long been settled. “Disparaging my family for political gain is disgusting,” said Ms. Recchie, a supporter and fund-raiser for her ex-husband, in a statement. Mr. Hunter and Mr. Collins also embraced the playbook of uncompromising defiance, echoing the president’s language by attacking the investigations into their personal finances as meritless, partisan “witch hunts” pursued by a politically driven Justice Department. Both Republicans won re-election by narrow margins for their deep red districts, an indication that the charges against them had some impact on voters. But in the end, it appeared that partisanship beat out possible corruption. “Party supersedes everything else,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster who worked for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008 and a super PAC supporting her bid eight years later. “The whole issue of truth has become a more elastic idea for voters.”
  5. TAYLORSVILLE, Utah -- Police say a man held another man at gunpoint, bound him to a chair and then told him he could choose between death in the desert or having a nail hammered through his genitals. According to charging documents filed September 5, the assault occurred on August 30 in Salt Lake County. Jason Dee Maughn got into a fight that night with a man who was living in the home with him, according to a statement of probable cause. During the argument, Maughn held a shotgun to the other man's head and made him sit in a chair before handcuffing him to the arm rests. Maughn then told the victim he could, "either be taken to the desert to be killed or Maughn could drive a nail into [victim's] penis," the document states. The man also told the victim he would shoot him if he tried to fight back. The victim chose the latter of the two options, and the PC statement indicates Maughn used a rusty hammer to drive a tool resembling an ice pick through the victim's penis and into a board Maughn had placed under the victim. Maughn then released the man, who sought medical attention the next morning. Maughn was charged with aggravated kidnapping—domestic violence, aggravated sexual assault—domestic violence, mayhem—domestic violence, and aggravated assault—domestic violence. Maughn was arrested Monday and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.
  6. The Fort Worth Police Department has launched "Operation Grinch Pinch" in an effort to stop people from stealing packages. Police are planting GPS trackers in random packages, then ensuring the boxes are in view of people on the street. They are working with residents who have a 24/7 surveillance video system installed. When the tracker senses motion, it alerts nearby officers, who can then track the person who took it and take them into custody. The department announced the plan to curb the number of package thefts in the city in a Grinch-themed Facebook video. "We want people to know that we're doing this," Sgt. Chris Britt told WFAA. "We'd rather give people the opportunity to not commit a crime." "Operation Grinch Pinch" will continue until the end of the year. Officials did not say if they plan to continue the program in 2019.
  7. Burger King is trying to get people to buy their burgers by telling them to go to McDonald's. Bold strategy, fellas, let's see how it pays off. Burger King just started a new promotion yesterday where you can get a Whopper for just ONE CENT. The only catch is . . . you have to order it while you're AT McDonald's. If you want to get in on this deal, download the Burger King app, then go within 600 feet of a McDonald's and order a Whopper on the app. And then it'll give you directions to the nearest BK where you can pick it up. The offer is good now through next Wednesday. And let's hope for Burger King's sake that this plan to troll McDonald's really does lead to a lot of Whopper sales . . . and not just a bunch of people going to McDonald's with the PLAN to order a Whopper, but then just deciding to eat there instead.
  8. There was CHAOS online earlier this week, when someone noticed that "Friends" was due to leave Netflix at the start of the New Year. Netflix quickly assured subscribers that the show would be around through 2019. But as we're finding out now, they had to seriously shell out to make that happen. The "New York Times" claims that Netflix paid $100 MILLION to keep the show for another year. Other estimates have it around $70 million to $80 million. Either way, it's a huge jump. Netflix had been paying $30 million a year for "Friends".
  9. I fully expect to see a Hallmark Channel movie about this kid next Christmas . . . Nine-year-old Dane Best lives in Severance, Colorado. It's a small town outside Fort Collins, about 60 miles north of Denver. And for the past 98 years, they've had an active ban on SNOWBALL FIGHTS. The law stated that you couldn't throw objects at people, animals, or property. So it was more about throwing rocks and stuff that might hurt someone. No one had ever been arrested for throwing a snowball. But technically, it was illegal. So on Monday, Dane showed up to a city council meeting in a bowtie. And he gave an impassioned three-minute speech on why the law was unjust. And in the end, the city council voted UNANIMOUSLY to overturn the law. A bunch of other kids were there with their parents and CHEERED when the law passed. Then the mayor presented Dane with two snowballs outside. And he and his four-year-old brother Dax got to throw the first LEGAL snowballs in the town's history. Now that he's got one win under his belt, Dane is already onto his next cause. It turns out the town also has a weird law that says you can have a maximum of three PETS. Which means he's currently fostering an illegal guinea pig.
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