Izaebela Kolano, left, and the $28,000 ring from Costco she is alleged to have stolen. (Clifton Police Department)
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In an exclusive Fox Nation series, the founder of Building Homes For Heroes sat down with host Lauren Simonetti to discuss why he began the organization and the overwhelming response he received from citizens across the U.S. in their willingness to help those wounded while serving our country.
CEO and founder Andy Pujol explained that it was the September 11th terrorist attacks that fueled his commitment to the cause. After watching on television as the Twin Towers fell, Pujol immediately loaded up his car with socks, T-shirts, and bandages, totaling over a thousand dollars worth of supplies. “I don’t know why but I knew that was my calling on that day,” he said. Through the smoke and debris, he drove as close to the scene as he could get and explained to responding officers that he was there to help. The officers declined his assistance at first, he explained, but Pujol credits his “defiance” for convincing them to lend him gear and allow him onto the scene.
“I remember sitting on the rubble looking around at these amazing heroes,” said Pujol. “There’s a saying from the prophecy of Isaiah: ‘they shall mount up with wings of an eagle and they shall run, and they shall not grow weary.’ That’s what I thought of those first responders and I knew there and then that I was going to serve my country. There was no doubt in my mind,” he said.
Pujol joined forces with his neighbor who had a background in construction, and they set out to achieve what seemed like an overly ambitious goal: to build one home for a severely wounded veteran. Pujol raised the necessary funds, and together with a small team, the home was completed after a year in mid-2007.
“I’m going to be honest, we had no idea what the hell we were doing, it was grassroots…we were scrambling,” he said, explaining the many unknown issues that arose throughout the building process.
As time went on, Pujol and his team became experts and their passion soon turned one home into many more, changing the lives of one deserving veteran after another. The most moving part of the whole process said Pujol, is the “homecoming ceremony” that each veteran receives upon their arrival at their new home, which includes military members, police escorts, and an outpouring of community support.
A home built by Building Homes for Heroes for U.S. Army Sgt Joel Tavera who sustained major head injuries and lost sight in both eyes after an accident during combat.
“The opportunity to give back to those who have given so much to this country is amazing and each and every ceremony never gets old. Every family is different, the children, the parents, seeing their smiles,” said Chad Gottlieb, the head contractor of the organization.
Despite the many challenges that arose throughout the process — such as a halt in donations due to the recession and a cancer diagnosis from the toxic exposure of the 9/11 site, Pujol was determined to turn Building Homes for Heroes into a large scale organization.
“If the veterans got through this…” Pujol explained, so would he. 15 years after it’s launch, Building Homes for Heroes has built over 170 homes, changing the lives of disabled veterans across the country, with the goal of building 300 homes by 2022. Their small team, many of whom do not take a salary, said they are “overwhelmed every day” and excited about extending the organization to offer more services, such as psychiatric care and financial planning assistance.
“Those heroes are our veterans, those heroes are those that served at 9/11. They went and served their country. They put on those wings, and they ran straight into it and they never grew weary,” said Pujol. “I’m determined to keep going and press on to reach our 200th home, our 500th home…it gives all of us the ability to have that opportunity to serve our country.”
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Plumlee became a U.S. Army Ranger last week after graduating from camp. Plumlee’s brother, Miles, congratulated him in an Instagram post, saying “Saying I’m proud isn’t enough… you’re selfless and uncompromising. I love you and it’s a joy to see you happy living your life the way you envision it. So grateful I get to be your big brother.”
Plumlee also posted a picture on Instagram revealing he gave his Ranger Tab to his mother.
“No one more deserving of pinning my Ranger Tab,” he wrote. “Going from the NBA to the active duty Army and now Ranger School I have to thank my biggest supporter in the transition, my mom. I love you!”
Plumlee, who was in the ROTC during his time at Duke, played four seasons with the Blue Devils. He started all 36 games he played in his senior season.
“It was about like two years ago there was a game changer in my life. I was trying to go out to the practices in the summer and I was getting smoked by every rookie. I felt in order to do something bigger in life, in order to get to a higher stage, I felt like I had to get away from the game and focus on my health,” he said.
“I lived the typical party life. I was eating f—— s–- every second. I was just trying to put on weight, I was living that life. At the same time, I was going out and playing f—— football and running people over, getting the f–- ran over.”
WARNING: EXPLETIVE LANGUAGE
Gronkowski has been very open about the injuries he suffered while playing in the NFL for 9 seasons.
Last week, he told NBC News he had a “centimeter of liquid” in his head at points during his career.
“No lie, I felt my head, I used to have liquid,” the former tight end said. “It used to be thick, like, my head used to be thicker—a centimeter of liquid in some spots. And you’d be like, what the heck? You could put indents in my head.”
While Gronkowski left the door open for a potential return to the football field, he noted that he suffered a severe quad injury against the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl.
“I got done with the game, I could barely walk,” he said. “Now I can barely walk. I’m at the after-party, I sit down and I’m just chilling all day, like the rest of the night until 3 a.m. I try to go to bed, I slept for 5 minutes that night. I couldn’t even think. I was in tears, in my bed, after a Super Bowl victory.”
Gronkowski said he couldn’t sleep for more than 20 minutes. He said two weeks after the Super Bowl, he had to get 200 milliliters of blood drained from his leg. Then a week after that another 500 milliliters and then another 300 milters one more week later, for a total of 1 liter.
Gronkowski retired in March and, while the speculation has been that he would return to the Patriots at some time, the devastating effects of playing football appear to be weighing heavily on the future Hall of Famer.
WASHINGTON – Their brother Rus Lodi calls them “leadership junkies.”
If you’re a soldier, you’d better just call them ma’am and salute.
Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and younger sister Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi are each accomplished in their own fields. But together they have become became the first two sisters, the Army believes, to attain the general’s rank in the service’s 244-year history.
“Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi represent the best America has to offer,” said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy. “However, this comes as no surprise to those who have known them and loved them throughout this extraordinary journey. This is a proud moment for their families and for the Army.”
Fathers and sons have risen to general, including Gen. George Casey, who retired as Chief of Staff of the Army; his father, Maj. Gen. George Casey, Sr., was killed in action in Vietnam. Then there’s the Brooks family. Leo Brooks retired as a brigadier general, and his sons Leo, Jr., and Vincent, went on to become a one- and a four-star general respectively. There is even a wife-and-husband team of three-stars: Laura and James Richardson.
Sisters would have to wait.
The military didn’t officially accept women into its ranks until the Army Nursing Corps was established in 1901. Women, of course, served unofficially before that, some in disguise since the Revolutionary War, according to the U.S. Army Women’s Museum.
Since then, more than a dozen women have graduated from the Army’s Ranger School, its proving ground for elite infantry soldiers. Command of combat units is key to ascending to the highest ranks in the military.
Overall, women make up more than 16% of the military’s active-duty force of 1.3 million. Women account for 69 of the 417 generals and admirals.
The sisters’ achievement is a remarkable milestone for women in the military, said Melissa Dalton, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former Defense Department official. She put it in the class of retired Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody, the first woman in any service to attain four stars.
“For both men and women increasingly normalizing women in leadership positions matters,” Dalton said. “The fact that it comes from same family is an incredible accomplishment.”
A Silver Star role model at home
Barrett and Lodi didn’t need to look far for role models. Their father, Ruston, an Italian immigrant, was a World War II veteran and recipient of the Silver Star, although he rarely spoke about his service, his children said. Just as important, Rus Lodi and Barrett said, their father and mother Clara were educators who stressed public service to their five children.
“Both of my parents were school teachers,” Barrett said. “When my mother started having children, she got out, but she continued to be active in the community. So I do think probably underlying everything is that service component to it.”
Rus recalls his kid sisters as the focus of family dinners decades ago in Franklin, Massachusetts, each topping the other’s exploits in sports or school.
“They were two just beautiful girls growing up,” said Rus, 63. “Maria would do something academically that just blew us away, while Paula was doing something athletically, flipping off a diving board, before anybody else. They have just been a great source of pride and admiration our entire life.”
The sisters shared a bedroom, if not the same interests, growing up. “She was a great athlete,” Barrett said. “I was probably more of a student.”
Barrett, 53, recalls a key reason for joining the Army was largely practical: paying for school. She was interested in joining the foreign service. So, she enrolled in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Tufts University and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1988.
A funny thing happened on her way to a career at the State Department. Barrett found the Army a better fit. She had a great battalion commander, found the signal corps and discovered her passion for leading soldiers. Barrett moved steadily up the ranks, commanding at the company, battalion and brigade level. As a two-star general, she commands NETCOM, placing her in charge of managing and defending the Army’s information networks.
“When I talk to younger officers, I tell them the reason I joined is not the reason why I stayed,” Barrett said. “Our democratic experiment, even on its most imperfect day, is worth defending.”
Paula Lodi remembers watching a documentary on the first women at West Point. That sealed it. She was 8, maybe 10 years old, and she announced to her father that she wanted to attend the school. He encouraged her.
“If you’re a little girl, and your father responds positively to something that you want to do with your life,” Paula Lodi said, “you tend to grab ahold of it.”
Instead of West Point, she graduated from the Rutgers University ROTC program.
“My dad passed away when I was a senior in high school, so I may not have been on the most solid footing after high school,” Lodi said. “And I knew the army was the end state. So I would say going through ROTC, staying focused on that end state was really what kind of pulled me through college.”
She received her commission in the medical services corps and planned to be a dietitian as a civilian. Ten years and out of the service. That was the plan.
“I don’t know at what point probably four, maybe five years in, it just occurred to me, I absolutely loved what I was doing in the medical service corps,” Lodi said.
Climbing the ranks in separate fields
Up the ranks she climbed, like her sister, but in a separate field, the medical service corps. She has risen to become deputy chief of staff for operations in the Army’s Surgeon General’s office.
“The fact that we’re sisters, not brothers, I think it’s a huge illustration of how far we’ve come as a service,” said Lodi, 51.
Gen. James McConville, the Army’s chief of staff and top officer, has taken note of the sisters’ success.
“Maj. Gen. Maria Barrett and Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi are exceptional, proven leaders who’ve distinguished themselves over the course of their careers at various levels of command and during multiple combat tours,” McConville said. “These officers serve in critical career fields and lead organizations essential to the Army mission. Their success showcases how talented people can find multiple pathways to success serving in the Army.”
Neither sister said they started out with the goal to be general officers, and both express pride in the other’s accomplishments.
“I don’t think either one of us told us back in high school when we were both playing soccer together, that this is where we would be 27, 30 years from now,” Barrett said. “I don’t think either one of us would have told you that this is how the story would end.”
Their brother said he isn’t surprised. Over the years, he said, he’s noticed the way his younger sisters were “always talking about leadership, right way of leading, right way of motivation.”
Those were the very lessons their parents stressed, he said. He called Paula’s promotion to general the “closing chapter on a job well done by my parents.”
“He’ll always be my dad, always be the epitome the perfect example of what man should be.” 52 years after his plane was shot down, his family finally got to say goodbye. Militarykind, USA TODAY
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/09/05/army-first-two-sisters-become-generals/2094498001/
CT scans of horizontal sections through a patient’s chest and abdomen use X-rays to build up more detailed images than a traditional X-ray reveals. Colin Cuthbert/Science Photo Libra/Getty Imageshide caption
Colin Cuthbert/Science Photo Libra/Getty Images
CT scans of horizontal sections through a patient’s chest and abdomen use X-rays to build up more detailed images than a traditional X-ray reveals.
Colin Cuthbert/Science Photo Libra/Getty Images
Emory University medical fellow Dr. Nicole Herbst was shocked when she saw three patients who came in with abnormal results from chest CT scans they had bought on Groupon.
Similar deals have shown up for various lung, heart and full-body scans across Atlanta, as well as in Oklahoma and California. Groupon also offers discount coupons for expectant parents looking for ultrasounds, sold as “fetal memories.”
While Herbst declined to comment for this story, her sentiments were shared widely by the medical community on social media. The concept of patients using Groupons to get discounted medical care elicited the typical stages of Twitter grief: anger, bargaining and acceptance that this is the medical system today in the United States.
But, ultimately, the use of Groupon and other pricing tools is symptomatic of a health care market where patients desperately want a deal — or at least tools that better nail down their costs before they get care.
“Whether or not a person may philosophically agree that medicine is a business, it is a market,” says Steven Howard, who runs Saint Louis University’s health administration program.
By offering an upfront cost on a coupon site like Groupon, medical companies are meeting people where they are, Howard argues. It helps drive prices down, he says — all the while marketing the medical businesses.
For Paul Ketchel, CEO and founder of MDsave, a site that contracts with providers to offer discount-priced vouchers on bundled medical treatments and services, the use of medical Groupons and his own company’s success speak to the brokenness of the U.S. health care system.
MDsave offers deals at over 250 hospitals across the country, selling vouchers for anything from MRIs to back surgery. It has experienced rapid growth and expansion in the several years since its launch.
Ketchel credits that growth to the general lack of price transparency in the U.S. health care industry, amid rising costs to consumers. “All we are really doing is applying the e-commerce concepts and engineering concepts that have been applied to other industries to health care,” he argues.
“We are like transacting with Expedia or Kayak,” Ketchel says, “while the rest of the health care industry is working with an old-school travel agent.”
A closer look at those deals
Crown Valley Imaging, in Mission Viejo, Calif., has been selling Groupon deals for services including heart scans and full-body CT scans since February 2017 — despite what Crown Valley’s president, Sami Beydoun, called Groupon’s aggressive financial practices. According to him, Groupon dictates the price for its deals based on the competition in the area — and then takes a substantial cut.
“They take about half. It’s kind of brutal. It’s a tough place to market,” Beydoun says. “But, the way I look at it is you’re getting decent marketing.”
Groupon-type deals for health care aren’t new. They were more popular in 2011, 2012 and 2013, when Groupon and its then-competitor LivingSocial were at their height, but the industry has since lost some steam. Groupon stock and valuation has tumbled in recent years, even after buying LivingSocial in 2016.
Groupon did not respond to requests for comment on how many medical offerings it features or its pricing structure.
“Groupon is pleased any time we can save customers time and money on elective services that are important to their daily lives,” spokesman Nicholas Halliwell writes in an emailed statement. “Our marketplace of local services brings affordable dental, chiropractic and eye care, among other procedures and treatments, to our more than 46 million customers daily and helps thousands of medical professional[s] advertise and grow their practices.”
In Atlanta, two imaging centers that each offered discount coupons from Groupon say the deals have driven in new business. Bobbi Henderson, the office manager for Virtual Imaging Inc.’s Perimeter Center, says the group has been running the deal for a heart CT scan, complete with consultation, since 2012; it’s currently listed at $26 — a 96% discount. More than 5,000 of the company’s coupons have been sold, according to the Groupon site.
Brittany Swanson, who works in the front office at OutPatient Imaging in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, says she has seen hundreds of customers come through since the center posted Groupon coupons for mammograms, body scans and other screenings around six months ago. Why did the medical practice turn to Groupon discounts?
“Honestly, we saw the other competition had it,” Swanson says.
A lot of the deals offered are for preventive scans, she says, providing patients incentives to come in.
But Dr. Andrew Bierhals, a radiology safety expert at Washington University in St. Louis’ Edward Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, warns that such deals may be leading patients to get unnecessary initial scans — which can lead to unnecessary tests and radiation.
“If you’re going to have any type of medical testing done, I would make sure you discuss with your primary care provider or practitioner,” he cautions.
Appealing to patients who fall through an insurance gap
Because mammograms are typically covered by insurance, Swanson says, she believes OutPatient Imaging’s $99 Groupon deal is filling a gap for women who lack insurance. The cost of such breast screenings for those who don’t have insurance varies widely, but can be up to several hundred dollars without a discount.
Howard says Groupon has long been used to fill insurance gaps for dental care. He himself often bought such deals over the years to get cheaper dental cleanings when he didn’t have insurance that covered that.
But advanced medical scans involve a higher level of scrutiny, as Chicagoan Anna Beck recently learned. In 2015, she and her husband, Miguel Centeno, were told he needed to get a chest CT after a less advanced X-ray at an urgent care center showed something suspicious.
Since her husband had just been laid off and did not have insurance, they shopped online to look for the cheapest price. They ended up driving out to the suburbs to get a CT scan at an imaging center there.
“I knew that CT scans had such a wide range of costs in a hospital setting,” Beck says. “So going in knowing that I could price check and have some idea of how much I’d be paying and a little more control” was preferable than going to the hospital.
On the drive back into the city though, the imaging center called and told them to go straight to the hospital — the CT had revealed a large mass that turned out to be a germ-cell tumor.
Fortunately, Centeno’s cancer is now in remission, his wife says. But their online shopping cost them more money than if they’d gone straight to the hospital initially. The hospital gave them charity care. And although Beck took along a CD of the scans Centeno had bought online, the hospital ended up taking its own scans, as well.
“You’re trying to cut cost by getting a CT out of the hospital,” Beck says. “But they’re just going to redo it anyway.”
Kaiser Health Newsis an editorially independent, nonprofit program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. KHN is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
“That’s bullshit,” he said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Wednesday as the host grilled him. “I got a bad rap on that.” (Watch the exchange above at the 4:30 mark.)
Dr. Phil was lightheartedly taking issue with the media storm he weathered after commenting on a romantic Instagram photo of the singer and the “Game of Thrones” star in Paris. “Easy now! 1 week to go! Ha! See you at the wedding!” he wrote, thus giving away the date of their hush-hush late-June French ceremony. They married originally in Las Vegas in early May.
Kimmel asked him if the ceremony was indeed one week after his comment, and cited several news reports, including HuffPost’s. “I didn’t know you had evidence,” Dr. Phil said sheepishly.
Finally, Dr. Phil conceded that “it wasn’t a week but it was pretty close.”
These two had more issues to smooth over, like why Kimmel didn’t ask Dr. Phil to his own wedding. Watch above.
A tree was knocked down in Charleston, S.C., on Thursday as Hurricane Dorian approached the coast.CreditJohnny Milano for The New York Times
Dorian lashes the coast from Georgia to North Carolina.
Much of the Carolina coast was being pounded by heavy rain and strong winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday morning, as the storm continued to creep on its parallel path north along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.
The storm had strengthened to Category 3 late Wednesday night, and by Thursday morning it was about 70 miles from Charleston, S.C., according to the National Hurricane Center. Its hurricane-force winds were extending as far as 60 miles from the center, with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 195 miles.
Forecasters said storm surge waters could flood up to eight feet in some areas. Streets in Charleston were already flooding on Thursday morning with rising seas and rainfall expected to inundate parts of the city.
Though the storm’s eye has remained offshore on its move up the East Coast, the National Hurricane Center’s models now show it could possibly make landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday.
On Thursday morning, Dorian’s rain bands were whipping cities from Savannah, Ga., to Wilmington, N.C., and places along the coast could receive as much as 15 inches of rain before the storm departs. Approximately 360,000 South Carolinians have been evacuated from their homes. The storm has already knocked out power for about 200,000 customers in South Carolina, as well as 12,800 in Georgia.
Maps: Tracking Hurricane Dorian’s Path
Maps tracking the hurricane’s path as it makes its way toward Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
The wind howls through Charleston, as it watches for rising water.
The wind began howling and groaning in Charleston around 2 a.m., bending trees to its will, downing power lines and toppling trees.
As of 8 a.m., the storm was about 70 miles south-southeast of Charleston, according to the National Hurricane Center. But by daybreak, it felt as though Category 3 storm had fully presented itself.
Local TV forecasters were warning that the worst of the storm would be felt in Charleston through at least noon, and urged people to remain in their homes. Charleston County government officials ordered residents to stay off high-span bridges, given sustained winds of more than 30 miles per hour. City government posted a running online tally a running tab of flooded and impassible streets.
“Remember, TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN,” the Charleston Police tweeted.
Streets began to flood in Charleston.CreditJohnny Milano for The New York Times
Charleston has accrued deep hurricane experience in recent years, as well as deep scars — particularly from Hurricane Hugo, which hit the city hard in September 1989. At the time, computer storm tracking was not as sophisticated as it is today, and social media did not exist. Many residents were caught unprepared as the storm toppled buildings or blew them away.
Hurricane Hugo killed 35 people in South Carolina, and damaged or destroyed more than 21,000 homes statewide. According to the author Brian Hicks, it also marked a turning point in Charleston history. With many older, less steady buildings damaged beyond repair, Joe Riley, the mayor at the time, saw an opportunity with so many patches of blank canvas to fill in and helped revitalize the city.
Tornadoes were spinning off the storm in North Myrtle Beach and Wilmington.
At least two tornadoes had touched down in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Pat Dowling, the city’s public information officer, said.
One of the tornadoes was “pretty sizable,” he said, and though it damaged a couple of condominium buildings and a mobile park near the intercoastal waterway, there were no injuries and everybody was safe.
The outer bands of Hurricane Dorian were also reaching north to Wilmington, N.C., slamming the area with heavy rain and winds — and causing at least one tornado.
Dorian’s center was far away, but its tropical-storm-force winds extended nearly 200 miles from its center, and its effects could be felt in Wilmington, a port city of about 122,000 on North Carolina’s southeastern coast. The National Weather Service’s local office warned that even if the eye avoids landfall, the city would experience winds equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.
Thursday would be a day of “high risk for flash flooding in southeastern North Carolina, and we know too well that floodwaters can be deadly,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday.
On Wednesday Mr. Cooper announced that an 85-year-old man in Columbus County had died after falling off a ladder while preparing for the storm.
Wilmington is under a storm surge warning through Sunday morning, and forecasters said water could rise between four and seven feet in some areas. Many of the neighborhoods along Cape Fear River, which flows through the city toward Fayetteville, were expected to flood.
Officials in New Hanover County, which includes Wilmington, said a shelter at an elementary school had filled up but that two others still had room.
Wilmington is no stranger to hurricanes. Hurricane Florence dumped rain on the city and swelled its rivers in 2018, essentially cutting it off from the rest of the state. Residents lost electricity for several days.
And residents still recall the devastation from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which turned streets into rivers and took many residents by surprise.
A tree was downed by a tornado on Thursday in Wilmington, N.C.CreditAlyssa Schukar for The New York Times
Four hurricanes later, the ocean’s allure stays strong.
A first-person account from Chris Dixon, an author and journalist.
I engaged in a grim ritual with my neighbors on Wednesday, sweating and cursing under a broiling Charleston sun while draping sheets of plywood across the windows on my house. For the fourth time since 2016, I was preparing for a hurricane: Matthew, Irma, Florence and now Dorian.
Depending on your point of view, I am lucky or unlucky enough to live on a tidal creek near Folly Beach, S.C. When hurricanes and tropical storms strafe our coast, their winds roar across the several miles of harbor and normally placid marsh that separate our neighborhood from the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse. As the tides rise, these winds pile seawater into wave-driven surge and batter the homes in my neighborhood.
Yanking a splinter from my thumb, I asked myself, Why do I live here?
I should know better. When I was young, my great-aunt Ethel told frightful tales of Hurricane Hazel’s 1954 destruction of the Carolina coast. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo upended my life by destroying my home in Surfside Beach, north of Charleston. Two years ago, I gasped as the tides from Hurricane Irma casually carried a foot of marsh into my house while sweeping tons of my yard out to sea. And last year, while covering Hurricane Florence for The New York Times, I spent many tense hours among people who were in the process of losing everything.
So why do I choose to live in this slowly drowning port city? Why endure the annual stress of possibly losing everything? Why constantly check computer models before frantically hauling everything inside, boarding up, driving for safety and then waiting for interminable hours while glued to The Weather Channel?
Because the ocean is my family’s life and my livelihood. My wife grew up in Dana Point, Calif., with the Pacific in her backyard and saltwater in her veins. I grew up in Atlanta but had the great fortune of spending my summers along this Carolina coast — sailing, fishing and, eventually, having my life taken over by surfing.
It sounds cliché, but when your entire life comes to revolve around the ocean, it becomes almost impossible to imagine living any other way. You come to define life not by the hours on the clock, but by the ebb and flow of the tides and the rhythm of the winds and swells. You become deeply enmeshed in a culture of shrimpers, crabbers, divers and surfers. You watch your kids come to revere the ocean and respect its moods and its power. You manage to make a living writing about the ocean. You catch a perfect wave from a hurricane-spawned groundswell at your local break.
Now a Category 2 storm, Hurricane Dorian is slowly moving northwest, threatening the U.S. southeast coast, after leaving behind major damage in the Bahamas.CreditCreditScott McIntyre for The New York Times
In the Bahamas, homes were turned to matchsticks.
The pilot was anxious to help: He had gathered generators, diapers, tuna fish and other supplies. The people living on the islands in the Bahamas devastated by Hurricane Dorian needed them, immediately.
But he wasn’t sure if there was anywhere to land.
Flying over the hardest-hit areas — the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama — the pilot saw homes turned to matchsticks and boats piled in heaps.
Harbors, supermarkets, a public hospital, airport landing strips — all had been damaged or blown to smithereens, frustrating rescue efforts.
Hurricane Dorian, which made landfall on Sunday as a Category 5 storm and then lingered for days, not only left many residents in the most damaged islands without jobs or a place to live. It also stripped away the services required to meet their most immediate needs — like fresh water, food and medical care.
“It’s like a bomb went off, honestly,” said Julie Sands, who lives in Cherokee Sound, in the Abaco Islands.
In the Bahamas, with floodwaters receding, the trail of devastation was slowly becoming clear as residents began tallying their losses. As of Wednesday, according to Dr. Duane Sands, the minister of health, at least 20 people had been confirmed dead and the toll was expected to rise.
The Bahamas, Before and After Hurricane Dorian
Aerial images of flattened neighborhoods and a flooded airport give a first look at the large-scale damage there.
Florida escaped a direct hit from the storm.
Last week the storm was inviting comparisons to Hurricane Andrew, which ripped through the Miami area as a Category 5 monster in 1992, causing widespread damage.
Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida declared a state of emergency last Wednesday afternoon, and advised residents to have seven days’ worth of supplies on hand. There was a run on gasoline and bottled water, and the attorney general’s office was investigating hundreds of complaints of price gouging.
By Friday, Hurricane Dorian had become a Category 4 storm over the Atlantic Ocean with winds of 130 m.p.h., and Mr. Trump approved an emergency declaration for Florida.
In the end Florida was largely spared its wrath.
But one Florida resident had died while preparing for the storm, The Associated Press reported. A 56-year-old man who was knocked to the ground from a tree Monday evening as he trimmed limbs with a chain saw in an Orlando suburb.
Bahamians in Miami are lending a hand.
The ties could not be stronger between Miami and the Bahamas, an archipelago less than 200 miles east. Bahamians settled in South Florida decades before Miami was born, building bridges and railroads and raising children who would become some of the region’s most prominent leaders. This week, their descendants, many veterans of devastating hurricanes, gathered across South Florida to lend a hand.
“When we were desperate, people came to our rescue,” said Charles Bethel, 68, a retired state juvenile justice administrator who lost his home in south Miami-Dade County to Hurricane Andrew, another Category 5 storm, in 1992. “The community pulled together. There was no sense of division. Now, we are doing the same.”
Miami owes its very beginnings to residents from there. Bahamian laborers worked in construction and agriculture, creating the city’s infrastructure and teaching white settlers unfamiliar with the tropics how to build with coral rock, till the soil and plant tropical fruit, said Marvin Dunn, a retired college professor who chronicled local history in his book “Black Miami in the Twentieth Century.”
Bahamians started to arrive in the 1880s, following an economic downturn on the islands, Dr. Dunn said. Many went to work in pineapple fields in Key West and then migrated north to Coconut Grove, which they called Kebo. Bahamians also settled in the Miami neighborhood of Overtown and in Carver Ranches, which is now part of the city of West Park, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale.
On Wednesday in Miami, volunteers gathered in houses of worship, dripping with sweat as they sorted through heavy boxes and bags. Stacks of water bottles. Heaps of diapers. Baby formula. A chain saw. So many donations came in that Christ Episcopal ran out of pallets.
Volunteers in Miami organized donations for storm victims in the Bahamas.CreditSaul Martinez for The New York Times
Reporting was contributed by Patricia Mazzei, Nick Madigan, Kirk Semple, Frances Robles, Rachel Knowles and Elisabeth Malkin.
SHANGHAI — The United States and China will hold trade talks in Washington early next month, officials from both countries said on Thursday, but new tariffs will make it difficult to find a way to end their economic clash.
Liu He, a top Chinese economic official and Beijing’s top trade negotiator, will travel to Washington in early October, state media said. Mr. Liu spoke on Thursday morning with Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary. Mr. Lighthizer’s office said that deputy-level meetings would take place ahead of the talks.
Stocks around the world rose following the news that talks would resume. Early trading on Wall Street was also up.
If held as scheduled, the talks would take place after new American tariffs kick in, which could make it difficult for the two sides to reach a deal. President Trump has said he would raise tariffs to 30 percent from the current 25 percent on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Those tariffs cover everything from cars to aircraft parts.
Already, pessimism had been growing on both sides of the Pacific Ocean about the possibility of a trade deal before the United States presidential elections next year. The mounting tariffs have rattled global markets and set off fears over world economic growth.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 jumped following news of the talks.
The rise reflects a sense of relief among investors that the two sides, which have recently been seen as far apart in negotiations, may once again seek to find a way to de-escalate a conflict that has raised global economic concerns and has injected uncertainty into the markets.
More than half of respondents to Bank of America’s monthly survey of global fund managers in August cited a worsening trade war as the top “tail risk” — a remote, but potentially deeply destabilizing threat — facing markets.
Over the last year, the potential fallout of the trade battle surpassed previous worries that troubled these professional investors, such as the chance that the Federal Reserve could tighten interest rates too far or a sharp slowdown in Chinese growth could stifle global growth.
At times this year, the stock market has suffered bouts of extreme volatility, first in May and again last month, when previous cease-fires in the battle between the United States and China broke down.
Data on mutual funds and E.T.F.s has shown money consistently flowing out of the stock market and into the bond market, often considered a safe haven for investors, which is also enjoying a strong year.
Businesses in both the United States and China have begun to express concern about a trade war that has dragged on for more than a year. American manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years because of slowing export orders amid the trade dispute, data showed on Wednesday.
Chinese factory activity, meanwhile, contracted for three months this summer before ticking back up slightly in data released this week. Its manufacturing sector has suffered layoffs and factory shutdowns from the trade war and as its economy grows at its slowest pace in three decades.
“When I speak to C.E.O.s of leading Chinese and global companies, everyone is fretting about what the latest escalations mean for their businesses in the short term, and more worrisome, for their long-term strategy and investment plans,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s greater China business.
The two sides show little sign of backing down, however. Mr. Trump has gambled that China’s softening economy will put pressure on Beijing’s leaders to back down. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Trump cited the country’s slowdown, which he called, inaccurately, “the worst year they’ve had in 57 years.”
“And they want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”
For their part, China’s leaders believe their own efforts to quell China’s dependence on debt are mostly responsible for the slowdown, and that they could reverse course if needed to bolster growth.
Next month’s talks would be the 13th time that senior-level trade negotiators have met. American negotiators traveled to Shanghai in July to meet briefly with their Chinese counterparts and left with an agreement to meet again in Washington on Sept. 1.
But the plans were disrupted when, one day after negotiators returned home, Mr. Trump said the United States would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sept. 1, once again escalating trade tensions.
State controlled media has contended that the trade war is hurting American consumers more than Chinese companies and citizens. “The White House lifted a rock, which fell on the feet of the America public,” the Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid, wrote in a Sept. 1 editorial after the latest round of tariffs set in.