EDM Friday Briefing: Starbucks Shooting in Chicago, President Trump Expands Federal Assistance to Puerto Rico
Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 3, 2017: A fatal shooting at a Starbucks near Chicago leaves one dead and two injured, an explosion at a propane company prompts an evacuation and road closures, WHO releases new numbers on the pneumonic plague that has impacted Madagascar, Miami-Dade firefighters are terminated for leaving a noose on a colleague's family pictures, police have arrested a suspect in the deadly Thornton, Walmart shooting, President Trump boosts assistance to Puerto Rico for public infrastructure repair, Maine may seek federal assistance for damages incurred from Monday's strong Nor'Easter, and well water at the Dorado Superfund site in Puerto Rico has been deemed safe to drink by the EPA.
- A shooting at Starbucks in Uptown, a neighborhood in Chicago's North Side, left one man dead and two people injured, including a 12-year-old boy. Authorities stated that they believe a nearby drug deal allegedly went wrong sending the victim running into Starbucks. The shooter, who authorities say is still at large, followed him and opened fire, striking the victim, but also shot another man and boy, both of whom were taken to nearby hospitals in serious and good condition, respectively.
- An explosion in a Douglasville, Georgia propane company created a massive blaze and resulted in a mandatory evacuation of the immediate and surrounding area. At least 20 fire fighters worked to extinguish the blaze even as propane tanks continued to explode. The incident occurred at around 8:30 p.m. and authorities closed two highways for several hours due to the explosion and subsequent fire.
- The plague in Madagascar has now claimed 127 lives since August, with over 1,800 reported cases according to new numbers recently released by the World Health Organization (WHO). Officials stated that although the island nation is used to dealing with approximately 400 cases of the bubonic plague in rural areas each year, this year's plague has developed into the more deadly pneumonic plague and spread to larger cities. The pneumonic plague is more easily transmitted through droplets in the air, such as through a cough, and early treatment with appropriate antibiotics is required to prevent death.
- Six firefighters in Miami-Dade have been terminated from their jobs for allegedly defacing a black colleague's family pictures with explicit renderings, including a noose fashioned with twine being draped over one of the pictures. According to officials, a total of eleven firefighters were allegedly involved in the incident, with the additional five members being relieved of duty with pay. The investigation into the incident is still ongoing, and could result in demotions or suspensions for the remaining five individuals allegedly involved.
- The suspect in the random shooting at a suburban Walmart near Denver, Colorado on Wednesday was arrested on Thursday but the incident has left police scrambling for a motive in the shooting that left three dead. According to officials, the man calmly entered the store then opened fire near a cash register, striking and killing two men and injuring one women who was transported to the hospital where she later died. The incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. local time, and by the time police responded to the scene in the Thornton Walmart, the gunshots had ceased and the shooter had escaped the store.
- On Thursday, President Trump agreed to expand the federal government's assistance to help rebuild Puerto Rico's infrastructure, including its power grid, following the islands near total devastation from Hurricane Maria. The boost of money will provide flexibility, but also impose a set of controls that has been mutually agreed upon due to the islands current state of bankruptcy. Under the new agreement, FEMA will pay for 90 percent of the costs for rebuilding public infrastructure on the island instead of the 75 percent that is typically covered.
- The strong storm that moved through the Northeast on Sunday/Monday, had a devastating impact on many towns and areas of Maine, prompting the state to possibly seek federal assistance. Impacts from the storm left Whitfield, Maine, completely without power and washed out a highway on the Maine/New Hampshire border. Officials in Whitfield, Maine stated that power in their town likely will not be fully restored until Saturday. A bridge and nearby portion of Route 2 near Berlin on the Maine/New Hampshire border, was also washed out by fast moving floodwaters, and officials state that although repairs have begun, it could take days or weeks for the work to be completed.
- Water at an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site in Puerto Rico has been deemed safe for consumption by the agency, helping relieve concerns of those who have been drinking water from the site. An official EPA statement indicates that both bacteria and chemicals are not present in unsafe levels at the Dorado Superfund site, a change from their statement in 2016 that indicated dangerous contamination levels in the water by cancer-causing chemicals. The findings agree with earlier tests of the water conducted by a Virginia Tech lab, that although the chemicals are present, their levels are very low, and pose no short term risk when consumed.
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