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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 153)

Trump may have committed tax fraud by fabricating a loan to avoid paying income taxes on nearly $50 million

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Nicki Minaj announces she's 'decided to retire' to start a family, fans have a meltdown

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Nicki Minaj announces she's 'decided to retire' to start a family, fans have a meltdown

In a new episode of her “Queen Radio” show, Nicki Minaj dismissed Miley Cyrus as a “Perdue chicken” as part of a feud that goes back to 2015. Buzz60

Is Nicki Minaj really leaving music behind?

That’s the question fans were left grappling with when the rapper announced that she’s retiring to focus on having a family.

“I’ve decided to retire & have my family,” she wrote on Twitter Thursday. “I know you guys are happy now. To my fans, keep reppin me, do it til da death of me, (X) in the box- cuz ain’t nobody checkin me. Love you for LIFE.”

While the 36-year-old rap diva has not expanded on her tweet publicly yet, her announcement has left fans reeling on Twitter.

“PLS SAY SIKE…” one person tweeted.

“Delete this now,” another wrote.

One user tweeted “So play with us if you want,” along with a threat against Minaj’s significant other, Kenneth Petty.

More: Nicki Minaj goes Instagram-official with registered sex offender Kenneth Petty

Many fans expressed hope that the “Super Bass” songstress wasn’t serious.

“Idk if You’re trolling or not but if your serious this is going to be hard for me to process,” one fan wrote. “We love you and do what makes you happy. . I will always rep you and love you forever!”

“@NICKIMINAJ girl i am bout to CRY say you trollin pleaaaase,” wrote another.

USA TODAY has reached out to reps for Nicki Minaj for comment.

Minaj’s tweet comes about a month after she announced her intention to marry Petty.

According to People and Us Weekly, Minaj said in August that the two “filed for the marriage license and we still had to pick it up and I was traveling, by the time I came back, we had to renew it again.”

“From that time, you have 90 days to get married,” she added. “That was about a week ago, so now I have about 80 days.”

Minaj reportedly shared the pair would honor their union with a larger celebration at a later date, after tying the knot.

Minaj and Petty went Instagram official in December, with Minaj responding to fans who called out Petty in the comments for being a registered sex offender.

Instagram-official: Nicki Minaj goes public with registered sex offender Kenneth Petty

When an Instagram commenter noted Petty would have been a teenager at the time of the alleged attempted rape and speculated the victim “must’ve been a white girl,” Minaj reportedly offered clarification, stating, “He was 15, she was 16… in a relationship. But go awf Internet. y’all can’t run my life. Y’all can’t even run y’all own life. Thank you boo.”

More: Nicki Minaj will tie the knot with Kenneth Petty in ‘about 80 days’

In June, Minaj opened up on “Queen Radio” about feeling like she’s in a good place.

“I think I have what I was striving for, just happiness. It was so hard to get to a happy place. Now that I’m there I don’t want to compromise that for anyone or anything. Certain traveling things I don’t (want to) do it. I’m just enjoying my downtime.”

More: Nicki Minaj drags Miley Cyrus as ‘Perdue chicken,’ talks marriage plans on radio show

Contributing: Erin Jensen and Bill Keveney

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Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2019/09/05/nicki-minaj-announces-retirement-family/2223025001/

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Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 05vid-briefing01-videoSixteenByNine3000 Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

The Carolina coast is being hit by heavy rain and strong winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday, while rescue efforts continue in the Bahamas.CreditCreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

Hurricane Dorian was pounding much of the Carolina coast with heavy rain and strong winds on Thursday, spawning small tornadoes and causing widespread power losses and flooding.

By Thursday afternoon, the Category 2 storm was about 55 miles from Myrtle Beach, S.C., as it continues its creep up the East Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center. And while the eye of the storm has so far remained offshore, the center’s models show it could possibly make landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday.

The center of a storm does not have to make landfall to cause serious damage, and hurricane-strength winds pummeled parts of the South Carolina coast on Thursday. The storm’s strongest winds, in the western eye wall, were just 10 to 15 miles offshore. Forecasters said storm surge waters could flood up to eight feet in some areas.

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 nearly 200,000 customers in South Carolina, as well as 9,000 in North Carolina and 7,000 in Georgia.

Westlake Legal Group hurricane-dorian-map-promo-1566933204147-articleLarge-v408 Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

Maps: Tracking Hurricane Dorian’s Path

Maps tracking the hurricane’s path as it makes its way toward Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Dorian brought tornadoes to North Myrtle Beach and Little River, said John Quagliariello, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Tornadoes tend to form in a hurricane’s outer bands, which are thin lines of thunderstorms that spiral into the center, said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami. Abrupt changes in wind speed create an environment for those rotating thunderstorms to become widespread, and some then drop fast-moving tornadoes.

As of early Thursday afternoon, nearly 10 inches of rain had fallen on Pawleys Island, more than eight inches on Myrtle Beach and up to 7.5 inches in Charleston, all of which Mr. Quagliariello warned could increase the risk of flash flooding.

The Waccamaw River is expected to crest late on Friday and into Saturday morning.

Some 441,000 people evacuated their homes ahead of Dorian, a number similar to the evacuations for Hurricane Florence last year.

By early Thursday afternoon, Gov. Henry McMaster lifted evacuation orders for three counties along the state’s southern coast — Jasper, Beaufort and Colleton — but cautioned people who live there that they might encounter power losses, downed lines and dangerous flooding upon their return.

Mr. McMaster said he was concerned about worse-than-expected rain and surge in Georgetown and Horry Counties. As much of four feet of water flowed on Ocean Boulevard in North Myrtle Beach, he said.

“We’re still battening down the hatches,” Mr. McMaster said. “When the wind stops, we still have to deal with the water, because the water’s going to last longer.”

The wind began howling and groaning in Charleston around 2 a.m., bending and toppling trees to its will, and downing power lines.

By daybreak, it felt as though the storm had fully arrived. Streets were flooding, and local TV forecasters, urging people to remain in their homes, warned that the worst of the storm would be felt in Charleston through at least noon. 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 of flooded and impassible streets.

“Remember, TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN,” the Charleston Police Department posted on Twitter.

The water, however, did not get as high as the authorities feared, Mr. McMaster said, describing himself as relieved.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160222620_5679bb89-a027-4559-a04b-1ba6f483a485-articleLarge Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

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 or blew buildings 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.

In Brunswick, a coastal county that extends from the South Carolina border to Wilmington, N.C., a tornado that touched down in the morning in Carolina Shores caused no serious injuries, a local official said.

But it ripped the shingles and siding off some homes, and punched holes in their roofs. It also left fences either bent or flattened, or even uprooted and tossed on lawns strewn with debris.

Several other tornadoes also touched down, Gov. Roy Cooper said.

Areas near Wilmington had already seen nine inches of rain by Thursday afternoon. Forecasters said water in Wilmington could rise between four and seven feet in some areas. Many of the neighborhoods along Cape Fear River were expected to flood.

“It has only started,” Mr. Cooper said of Dorian, which will push through the state until Friday afternoon. “We have a long night ahead of us.”

An 85-year-old man in Columbus County died on Wednesday after falling off a ladder while preparing for the storm. Some 2,200 people awaited the storm in 68 emergency shelters, though more might be opened.

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

Days after Hurricane Dorian, one of the strongest Atlantic storms on record, bore down on the Bahamas, a fuller picture from the ground has emerged, and with it, harrowing stories of survival.

Even as officials were taking stock of the storm’s toll Thursday — at least 23 people were dead — relatives of some residents of the Abaco Islands, in the north of the archipelago, were beginning to slowly reunite with their loved ones.

Sandra Cooke, a resident of Nassau, said that during the storm, a roof on an Abaco Islands building had collapsed on her sister-in-law. Her brother could not find his wife at first, but the family dog eventually detected her in the rubble. When there was a break in the storm, neighbors helped free her.

Ms. Cooke was reunited with her sister-in-law on Tuesday.

“She was trapped under the roof for 17 hours,” Ms. Cooke said on Wednesday, adding that she had hired a private helicopter service to take the rescued woman to Nassau.

[Read more about the stories of survival, and of loss, in the Bahamas.]

Westlake Legal Group bahamas-damage-hurricane-dorian-1567618513584-articleLarge-v3 Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

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.

The New York Times has half a dozen correspondents on the ground covering Hurricane Dorian from locations including the Bahamas, the Carolinas and Florida. You can follow our correspondents on social media: Patricia Mazzei, Richard Fausset, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Frances Robles and Kirk Semple.

The Times has published live updates for the past 10 days, as Hurricane Dorian largely spared Puerto Rico, then devastated the Bahamas before moving toward the United States. Here is the latest map tracker and tips on how to stay safe. We are continuing to cover the destruction in the Bahamas and how members of the Bahamian diaspora in Miami are scrambling to send aid to those affected by the storm. If you would like to help, we also have a piece on how to do that.

While Florida braced for a direct hit that ultimately did not come, our correspondents looked into how the storm could test the state’s nursing homes, the difficult question of whether to stay or evacuate and lessons learned from past storms.

We have received more than 500 questions from readers, including what makes a hurricane change course and how the eye of the storm comes into play. Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist and director of the Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate at Columbia University shared his answers. We also took a look at climate change and how it plays a role in how hurricanes take shape.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 04dorian-updates01sub-videoSixteenByNine3000 Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

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

“I want to thank all Floridians for hanging in there during what was a frustrating process,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Thursday. “This was a storm where we had a cone of uncertainty last week covering almost the entire state of Florida.”

He said the state’s emergency operations based in Tallahassee, the capital, would shut down but his administration would be ready to assist Georgia or the Carolinas as needed.

Mr. DeSantis also said he would be willing to send National Guard troops to the Bahamas if the federal government deemed that helpful. Florida will also send bottles of water to the islands. The water will expire in the coming months, and if another storm threatened Florida, the state would have no problem backfilling its supply stocks, the governor said.

“I don’t want that to go to waste if we have the ability to use that to help some folks,” he said.

And he urged Floridians to keep any vacation plans they might have to the many Bahamian islands that were not hit by Dorian.

“Canceling those plans doesn’t help them in their recovery,” he said.

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.”

[Bahamian descendants in Miami are helping the battered nation.]

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 Nick Madigan, Adeel Hassan, Sarah Mervosh, Kirk Semple, Frances Robles, Rachel Knowles and Elisabeth Malkin.

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Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Hurricane Dorian has finally moved on from the Bahamas after practically coming to a standstill over the archipelago for days, but the devastation left in its wake could require years of recovery

The Category 5 storm that hit the Bahamas ― it has weakened considerably since then ― ripped through the Abaco and Grand Bahama islands with wind speeds of up to 185 mph. It killed at least 20 people and upended the lives of thousands of others in a nation known for its resorts, marinas and luxury tourism.

“I lost everything. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t have a house to live in,” Ilphody Norvilus, a 37-year-old painter living in a Haitian immigrant community in Abaco, told The Associated Press

These dramatic aerial photos taken on Thursday show the shocking scale of the destruction.

Westlake Legal Group 5d715e65250000e213053f76 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

Homes in Abaco, a 120-mile-long chain of islands, were reduced to rubble. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d715eba2500007a12054012 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

This community in Abaco has been destroyed.

Westlake Legal Group 5d715ee0240000fb1776260f Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

Piles of debris in Abaco are barely recognizable as the people’s homes they once were.

Westlake Legal Group 5d715f2c240000ee17762698 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

Boats are piled on top of each other after being tossed around by Hurricane Dorian on Great Abaco Island.

Westlake Legal Group 5d715fa52500004d1205421c Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

Homes near the water in Abaco are barely standing. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d715fd3240000d1177627e5 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

Two homes in Abaco, one of which has seen its roof completely torn off. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d7160082500007a120542bd Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

All that’s left of the roof of this building in Abaco are hundreds of fallen beams. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d71608f2500007a120543c7 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

The inside of a building in Freeport, the main city on Grand Bahama Island, has been completely exposed. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d7160c02500004d12054449 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

Buildings in varying degrees of destruction stand in Abaco.

Westlake Legal Group 5d7160e12500001c130544a0 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

A building in Abaco is partially submerged under floodwaters, which often carry sewage, pesticides and other toxic materials. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d71610f240000ee17762a60 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

A large building in Abaco is left partially standing. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d7161412500007a12054539 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

A marina in Abaco has boats piled on top of each other.

Westlake Legal Group 5d716168240000ee17762b07 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

A seaside building in Abaco no longer has a roof. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d7161993b0000683fcf2754 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

The Abaco town of Marsh Harbour is underwater.

Westlake Legal Group 5d7162583b0000b140cf2941 Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

Marsh Harbour looks like a pile of rubble. 

Westlake Legal Group 5d71628f3b0000683fcf29bc Dramatic Images Show Hurricane Dorian Destruction From Above

Scott Olson via Getty Images

A plane is upside in a flooded area of Abaco. 

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Ex-Lions lineman T.J. Lang blasts Antonio Brown for Oakland Raiders drama: 'Total diva'

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Ex-Lions lineman T.J. Lang blasts Antonio Brown for Oakland Raiders drama: 'Total diva'

USA TODAY Sports’ Mike Jones breaks down why the Raiders suspended Antonio Brown. USA TODAY

The Antonio Brown saga continues, and it took a turn for the worse Thursday.

The Oakland Raiders plan to suspend Brown, the superstar wide receiver entering his first season with the team, after he and general manager Mike Mayock got into a verbal altercation Wednesday. 

And one former Detroit Lions player seems to be fed up with Brown’s act.

T.J. Lang, the former offensive lineman who retired after the Lions released him this past offseason, took to Twitter to vent. 

“This is incredible,” Lang wrote. “I think we are seeing AB finally be held accountable for the first time in his career and he simply can’t handle it. Total diva.”

Football followers far and wide are reacting to Brown, who last season made himself a nuisance to his former team, got traded to a rocky situation in Oakland, suffered frostbite on his feet after an apparent cryogenic therapy session gone wrong, and quibbled with the NFL about his old helmet, which the league had deemed unsafe

And now this.  

The former Pittsburgh Steelers star, who was drafted out of Central Michigan, had his own social media moment Wednesday. He posted a letter from the Raiders that explained  he was being fined tens of thousands of dollars for missing time during training camp. 

Brown obviously was unhappy, as was Mayock. According to The Athletic, Brown was screaming at Mayock at practice Wednesday night.

The Raiders host the Broncos on Monday night on ESPN.

Contact Kirkland Crawford: kcrawford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @HiKirkHere.

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Oregon man who targeted ex-friend with dog poop bomb avoids prison

An Oregon man who targeted his former friend with an improvised dog poop-filled bomb avoided prison Tuesday when he was sentenced to three years probation.

Robb Alexander Stout, 49, admitted to filling a plastic toolbox with dog feces and timing it to explode when the victim opened it, The Oregonian reported.

Stout pleaded guilty to unlawful manufacture of a destructive device and to being a felon in possession of a firearm and delivery of methamphetamine.

3 STUDENTS ACCUSED OF PLOTTING TO BOMB LONG ISLAND SCHOOL USING ‘THE ANARCHIST COOKBOOK’

The device was put on the back of a Camaro owned by Stout’s former friend on April 16. When it exploded, it sounded “like an M80 going off and the dog scat was blown out of the toolbox,” investigators said.

Westlake Legal Group 48935fb1-Capture Oregon man who targeted ex-friend with dog poop bomb avoids prison Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/oregon fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc fcc90a70-2822-5f66-a5b5-be8d45bc86b7 article

Robb Alexander Stout,49, was sentenced Tuesday to three years probation faces for rigging a feces-filled toolbox to explode on a former friend. (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

The friend wasn’t hurt. Stout said he and the victim used to make similar explosives together and he didn’t think making the device was a crime.

The pair had a falling out when Stout believed the friend had no intention of giving back some tools he borrowed.

“I guess the right way would have been to get a police officer involved,” he said. “It was just made to hurt his ego and give me my stuff back, like a wake-up call.”

The paper reported the victim left Tuesday’s court proceedings early and still feared for his safety.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

Stout had 14 previous convictions for drugs and eluding police, the paper reported. As part of his probation, the court ordered him to complete drug treatment, stay away from the victim and avoid making explosive devices or fireworks.

Prosecutors took into consideration Stout’s lack of convictions for violent acts and his behavior since he was released from jail several months ago.

Westlake Legal Group 48935fb1-Capture Oregon man who targeted ex-friend with dog poop bomb avoids prison Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/oregon fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc fcc90a70-2822-5f66-a5b5-be8d45bc86b7 article   Westlake Legal Group 48935fb1-Capture Oregon man who targeted ex-friend with dog poop bomb avoids prison Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/oregon fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc fcc90a70-2822-5f66-a5b5-be8d45bc86b7 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

Video

Westlake Legal Group 05vid-briefing01-videoSixteenByNine3000 Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

The Carolina coast is being hit by heavy rain and strong winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday, while rescue efforts continue in the Bahamas.CreditCreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

Hurricane Dorian was pounding much of the Carolina coast with heavy rain and strong winds on Thursday, spawning small tornadoes and causing widespread power losses and flooding.

By Thursday afternoon, the Category 2 storm was about 55 miles from Myrtle Beach, S.C., as it continues its creep up the East Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center. And while the eye of the storm has so far remained offshore, the center’s models show it could possibly make landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday.

The center of a storm does not have to make landfall to cause serious damage, and hurricane-strength winds pummeled parts of the South Carolina coast on Thursday. The storm’s strongest winds, in the western eye wall, were just 10 to 15 miles offshore. Forecasters said storm surge waters could flood up to eight feet in some areas.

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 nearly 200,000 customers in South Carolina, as well as 9,000 in North Carolina and 7,000 in Georgia.

Westlake Legal Group hurricane-dorian-map-promo-1566933204147-articleLarge-v405 Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

Maps: Tracking Hurricane Dorian’s Path

Maps tracking the hurricane’s path as it makes its way toward Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Dorian brought tornadoes to North Myrtle Beach and Little River, said John Quagliariello, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

Tornadoes tend to form in a hurricane’s outer bands, which are thin lines of thunderstorms that spiral into the center, said Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami. Abrupt changes in wind speed create an environment for those rotating thunderstorms to become widespread, and some then drop fast-moving tornadoes.

As of early Thursday afternoon, nearly 10 inches of rain had fallen on Pawleys Island, more than eight inches on Myrtle Beach and up to 7.5 inches in Charleston, all of which Mr. Quagliariello warned could increase the risk of flash flooding.

The Waccamaw River is expected to crest late on Friday and into Saturday morning.

Some 441,000 people evacuated their homes ahead of Dorian, a number similar to the evacuations for Hurricane Florence last year.

By early Thursday afternoon, Gov. Henry McMaster lifted evacuation orders for three counties along the state’s southern coast — Jasper, Beaufort and Colleton — but cautioned people who live there that they might encounter power losses, downed lines and dangerous flooding upon their return.

Mr. McMaster said he was concerned about worse-than-expected rain and surge in Georgetown and Horry Counties. As much of four feet of water flowed on Ocean Boulevard in North Myrtle Beach, he said.

“We’re still battening down the hatches,” Mr. McMaster said. “When the wind stops, we still have to deal with the water, because the water’s going to last longer.”

The wind began howling and groaning in Charleston around 2 a.m., bending and toppling trees to its will, and downing power lines.

By daybreak, it felt as though the storm had fully arrived. Streets were flooding, and local TV forecasters, urging people to remain in their homes, warned that the worst of the storm would be felt in Charleston through at least noon. 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 of flooded and impassible streets.

“Remember, TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN,” the Charleston Police Department posted on Twitter.

The water, however, did not get as high as the authorities feared, Mr. McMaster said, describing himself as relieved.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160222620_5679bb89-a027-4559-a04b-1ba6f483a485-articleLarge Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

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 or blew buildings 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.

In Brunswick, a coastal county that extends from the South Carolina border to Wilmington, N.C., a tornado that touched down in the morning in Carolina Shores caused no serious injuries, a local official said.

But it ripped the shingles and siding off some homes, and punched holes in their roofs. It also left fences either bent or flattened, or even uprooted and tossed on lawns strewn with debris.

Several other tornadoes also touched down, Gov. Roy Cooper said.

Areas near Wilmington had already seen nine inches of rain by Thursday afternoon. Forecasters said water in Wilmington could rise between four and seven feet in some areas. Many of the neighborhoods along Cape Fear River were expected to flood.

“It has only started,” Mr. Cooper said of Dorian, which will push through the state until Friday afternoon. “We have a long night ahead of us.”

An 85-year-old man in Columbus County died on Wednesday after falling off a ladder while preparing for the storm. Some 2,200 people awaited the storm in 68 emergency shelters, though more might be opened.

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

Days after Hurricane Dorian, one of the strongest Atlantic storms on record, bore down on the Bahamas, a fuller picture from the ground has emerged, and with it, harrowing stories of survival.

Even as officials were taking stock of the storm’s toll Thursday — at least 23 people were dead — relatives of some residents of the Abaco Islands, in the north of the archipelago, were beginning to slowly reunite with their loved ones.

Sandra Cooke, a resident of Nassau, said that during the storm, a roof on an Abaco Islands building had collapsed on her sister-in-law. Her brother could not find his wife at first, but the family dog eventually detected her in the rubble. When there was a break in the storm, neighbors helped free her.

Ms. Cooke was reunited with her sister-in-law on Tuesday.

“She was trapped under the roof for 17 hours,” Ms. Cooke said on Wednesday, adding that she had hired a private helicopter service to take the rescued woman to Nassau.

[Read more about the stories of survival, and of loss, in the Bahamas.]

Westlake Legal Group bahamas-damage-hurricane-dorian-1567618513584-articleLarge-v3 Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

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.

The New York Times has half a dozen correspondents on the ground covering Hurricane Dorian from locations including the Bahamas, the Carolinas and Florida. You can follow our correspondents on social media: Patricia Mazzei, Richard Fausset, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Frances Robles and Kirk Semple.

The Times has published live updates for the past 10 days, as Hurricane Dorian largely spared Puerto Rico, then devastated the Bahamas before moving toward the United States. Here is the latest map tracker and tips on how to stay safe. We are continuing to cover the destruction in the Bahamas and how members of the Bahamian diaspora in Miami are scrambling to send aid to those affected by the storm. If you would like to help, we also have a piece on how to do that.

While Florida braced for a direct hit that ultimately did not come, our correspondents looked into how the storm could test the state’s nursing homes, the difficult question of whether to stay or evacuate and lessons learned from past storms.

We have received more than 500 questions from readers, including what makes a hurricane change course and how the eye of the storm comes into play. Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist and director of the Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate at Columbia University shared his answers. We also took a look at climate change and how it plays a role in how hurricanes take shape.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 04dorian-updates01sub-videoSixteenByNine3000 Hurricane Dorian Hits Carolinas With Flooding, Strong Winds and Tornadoes: Live Updates Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019)

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

“I want to thank all Floridians for hanging in there during what was a frustrating process,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Thursday. “This was a storm where we had a cone of uncertainty last week covering almost the entire state of Florida.”

He said the state’s emergency operations based in Tallahassee, the capital, would shut down but his administration would be ready to assist Georgia or the Carolinas as needed.

Mr. DeSantis also said he would be willing to send National Guard troops to the Bahamas if the federal government deemed that helpful. Florida will also send bottles of water to the islands. The water will expire in the coming months, and if another storm threatened Florida, the state would have no problem backfilling its supply stocks, the governor said.

“I don’t want that to go to waste if we have the ability to use that to help some folks,” he said.

And he urged Floridians to keep any vacation plans they might have to the many Bahamian islands that were not hit by Dorian.

“Canceling those plans doesn’t help them in their recovery,” he said.

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.”

[Bahamian descendants in Miami are helping the battered nation.]

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 Nick Madigan, Adeel Hassan, Sarah Mervosh, Kirk Semple, Frances Robles, Rachel Knowles and Elisabeth Malkin.

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Jason Greenblatt, a Designer of Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan, Is Leaving the Administration

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s special envoy for Middle East peace, Jason Greenblatt, will leave the administration, according to a senior Trump official, raising new questions about a long-delayed plan to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Mr. Greenblatt has worked closely since early 2017 with Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, to design what Mr. Trump has called the “ultimate deal.” But their secretive plan has been delayed for several months, and it is unclear when it will be released — and whether Mr. Greenblatt will be around for the rollout.

Trump administration officials have said that the plan would not be released before Israel’s Sept. 17 election, which would determine the fate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close Trump ally who has overseen expansionist policies in the occupied West Bank. The vote, if close, could be followed by months of political jockeying to build a governing coalition, which could further delay the plan’s release.

On Thursday, the Trump official would say about the plan only that “the vision is now complete and will be released when appropriate.”

Mr. Trump had warm words for Mr. Greenblatt on Twitter. “Jason has been a loyal and great friend and fantastic lawyer,” Mr. Trump tweeted, praising his “dedication to Israel.”

By the time the administration’s peace plan is revealed, Mr. Greenblatt, formerly a longtime top lawyer to the Trump Organization, may have returned to private life. He accepted a huge pay cut in early 2017 when he took his White House job at an annual salary of about $180,000. His wife and six children have remained at their home in Teaneck, N.J. It is unclear whether Mr. Greenblatt will return to the Trump Organization after he leaves the government.

Westlake Legal Group all-the-major-firings-and-resignations-in-trump-administration-promo-1530825933054-articleLarge Jason Greenblatt, a Designer of Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan, Is Leaving the Administration United States International Relations Trump, Donald J State Department Palestinians Netanyahu, Benjamin Middle East Kushner, Jared Greenblatt, Jason D

The Turnover at the Top of the Trump Administration

Since President Trump’s inauguration, White House staffers and cabinet officials have left in firings and resignations, one after the other.

Mr. Greenblatt will remain on the job “in the coming period,” the Trump official said. The absence of a commitment to stay through the plan’s release is sure to stir doubts about its viability, which many regional experts and officials already doubt will break a decades-long stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians.

Some Trump administration critics expect it will be a largely political document meant to bolster Mr. Netanyahu, assuming he survives this month’s election, and to affirm Mr. Trump’s domestic standing with conservative Jews and evangelical Christians who support Israeli territorial expansion.

But Trump officials argue that their peace effort is a serious one that incorporates lessons from the mistakes of several past administrations, although they have so far provided few details beyond a call for major new economic development in Palestinian areas.

After Mr. Greenblatt’s departure, Avi Berkowitz, an adviser to Mr. Kushner, will become “more involved in the process,” the Trump official said. So will Brian H. Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran.

Mr. Hook has already worked closely on the Israel-Palestinian file, a reflection of the Trump team’s theory that Israel and its Sunni Arab enemies can unite against a shared adversary: Tehran’s Shiite-led government.

Mr. Hook joined Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt for a midsummer Middle East tour meant to build support for their proposal from Arab leaders, whose backing they hope to win for a peace initiative that is expected to demand far more concessions from the Palestinians than from the Israelis. The Trump administration has been closely aligned with Mr. Netanyahu’s government on security and territorial issues, while taking an openly adversarial stance toward Palestinian leaders.

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to have worked in the White House for over two and a half years under the leadership of President Trump,” Mr. Greenblatt said in a statement. “I am incredibly grateful to have been part of a team that drafted a vision for peace. This vision has the potential to vastly improve the lives of millions of Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region.”

Mr. Kushner added in a statement that Mr. Greenblatt “has done a tremendous job leading the efforts to develop an economic and political vision for a long sought after peace in the Middle East,” saying he would remain a “close friend and partner.”

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Ohio Set To Remove More Than 200,000 People From Its Voter Rolls

Westlake Legal Group 5d7148602500001c130515ff Ohio Set To Remove More Than 200,000 People From Its Voter Rolls

Ohio is set to cancel hundreds of thousands of voter registrations on Friday, even though the list of voters it is using was found to have mistakes.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) published a list of 235,000 voters at risk of losing their registrations in August but soon discovered there were errors and corrected them. The following month, in August, voting rights groups said they identified an additional 4,000 people who were incorrectly added to the list. The Columbus Dispatch also reported more than 1,600 people who were erroneously added because of a technical error. 

Since early August, voting rights groups have been combing through LaRose’s list in a mad dash to urge voters to check their registrations. Part of that effort includes a plan to text many people on the list to check their voter records. Voting rights advocates say LaRose should pause the removals to give people more time to check the list.

“There are new questions, it seems like every week, about what’s going on with this list, and various inaccuracies with the list,” said Mike Brickner, the Ohio state director of All Voting is Local, one of the groups working on contacting voters. “If we’re going to purge people, we better make sure that it be accurate and fair. As of right now, with new questions arising just about every day, many people in the state just don’t have a lot of confidence that this is a correct list.” 

There are new questions, it seems like every week, about what’s going on with this list, and various inaccuracies with the list. Mike Brickner, Ohio state director of All Voting is Local

The fight in Ohio underscores how mass voter removals ― sometimes called voter purges ― are now a major frontier in battles over voter suppression in the United States. At least 17 million people have had their voter registrations canceled since the 2016 election, according to one study by the Brennan Center for Justice (it’s unclear how many of those cancellations were legitimate). Ohio has already canceled 265,000 voter registrations this year. 

Voting rights groups say these purges are discriminatory, inaccurate and jeopardize the registrations of eligible voters. So far, 11,872 people on LaRose’s list have updated their registrations so they aren’t canceled. 

In Ohio, the list of voters set for purging is made up of people the state suspects have moved. Some on the list did indeed submit a change of address form to the United States Postal Service, but others did not. The list includes people who didn’t respond to an address confirmation mailing and people who haven’t voted, signed a petition or engaged in any other political activity for six consecutive years. 

Voting rights groups are concerned that this process for removing people from the voter rolls, called the “supplemental process” in Ohio, is putting eligible voters at risk of having their voter registrations canceled.

The Ohio Democratic Party cited the errors last week in a lawsuit asking a federal judge to halt the scheduled purge. U.S. District Judge James Graham declined that request Tuesday afternoon. Graham noted in his ruling that LaRose was ensuring eligible voters weren’t getting removed from the rolls when he discovered errors on his list.

LaRose’s office defended its handling of the removals. In a court filing earlier this week, lawyers representing his office noted that errors had been fixed. The lawyers also said LaRose was taking additional steps to contact voters, including by making the cancellation list public and sending an additional “last chance” mailing to people on the list. 

“We’re proud of providing unprecedented levels of transparency into this process, but we won’t ignore the law,” Maggie Sheehan, a LaRose spokesperson, said in a statement. “When we rolled out the Registration Reset list in July, we partnered with the NAACP, the Ohio Republican Party, the Urban League, church organizations, and labor unions who asked to be a part of this process, and they’ve been a big help. Predictably the Ohio Democratic Party stood on the sidelines.”

“As we prepare to finalize this process, we’re confident that there has never been a more intensive review of Ohio’s voting rolls, and we’re satisfied that the proper safeguards are in place to ensure any eligible voter will have the opportunity to have their voice heard,” she added.

Federal law requires states to have a general, nondiscriminatory program to remove ineligible voters from their rolls. The law also states that registrants can’t be removed “solely” because they haven’t voted.

LaRose says the removals comply both with that federal law and the Ohio statute that requires the supplemental process. In a 5-4 ruling last year, the United States Supreme Court said Ohio’s supplemental process was legal. LaRose reached a settlement last week with the voting rights groups that brought the case to the Supreme Court. The agreement will allow anyone who was purged using the supplemental process since 2011 to cast a provisional ballot if they show up at the polls through 2022.  

Any Ohioan erroneously removed from the rolls can register to vote until Oct. 7, 2019, and be able to cast a regular ballot in this year’s general election.

Ohioans can check to see if they are at risk of having their registration canceled here

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Odessa investigation could shine light on unlicensed dealers

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Odessa investigation could shine light on unlicensed dealers

The investigation into the source of the AR-style firearm used to kill seven people over the Labor Day weekend in Odessa/Midland exposes gaps in federal authority to stem the proliferation of “high-volume” private gun sellers who largely operate online.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms officials searched the Lubbock, Texas home Wednesday night of a man suspected of selling the gun to the shooter.

So far, little is publicly known about the man and no one has been arrested. Investigators reportedly are trying to determine whether he was manufacturing or dealing firearms without a license. 

But licenses are only required for private sellers if they are “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms. That four-word phrase came with no definitions for almost two decades, from its introduction in the Gun Control Act of 1968 until Congress added clarification in 1986.

Now, it applies to people who “devote time, attention and labor,” with the “objective of livelihood or profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.”

Even with those definitions in hand, prosecutions can be a legal quagmire, said Stephen Halbrook, a Virginia attorney specializing in firearms litigation.

“There’s no bright line. Everyone wants a mechanical formula, but the law doesn’t allow for that,” Halbrook said.

The law has a carve-out for hobbyists who make occasional sales. Halbrook said investigators could consider the frequency and type of weapon. For instance, a collector selling part of his collection online or at a show would be viewed differently than a person advertising five of the same model firearm at the same time.

The ATF itself has long acknowledged that the “engaged in business” standard is easily circumvented. In a 1999 report related to President Bill Clinton’s call to regulate gun shows the agency complained about “unlicensed dealers masquerading as collectors or hobbyists but who are really trafficking firearms to felons or other prohibited persons.”

It’s not impossible to catch sellers in the act. In some cases, undercover ATF agents have posed as buyers on websites.

A USA TODAY analysis of Justice Department case management records shows prosecutors charged about 2,300 people over the last decade with importing, manufacturing or dealing in firearms or ammunition without a license.

Prosecutors declined to bring charges against more than 1,300 other defendants who had been referred to them over violations of those laws, frequently citing insufficient evidence.

Investigation will try to flip seller

David Chipman, a former ATF agent, said investigators in Texas will likely be looking for gun manufacturing tools and evidence of the frequency of firearm sales to determine whether the Lubbock man should have been licensed.

Chipman said the investigation will attempt to ferret out any other buyers of his guns.

“Once you’ve got the goods on a suspect you try to identify who else they’ve sold guns to,” he said. “They usually fold when they realize they’re doomed and facing some prison time.”

Chipman, who also works with the gun violence protection group Giffords, said the case could illustrate a need for cracking down on online gun brokers like Armslist.

“This is how criminals get guns,” Chipman said. “Armslist purposely divides their site into licensed dealers and private sellers in order for criminals to exploit it.”

He said the Texas case could echo the 2012 beauty salon shooting in Wisconsin, where a man bought a firearm on short notice from a private seller located via Armslist. Some sites, like Armslist and Gunbroker, can facilitate sales among private parties, which don’t require a background check.

The victim’s family in the 2012 case sued the website’s operators. The case came before the Wisconsin State Supreme earlier this year, which cleared it of liability, saying it was protected under the Communications Decency Act as a “neutral service provider.”

This week, the family appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for reconsideration of that ruling.

2020 Candidates address sellers

Cracking down on online sellers and private sales without background checks has already drawn attention in the presidential race.

Back in 2015, Hillary Clinton said she would have used executive action to deem anyone who sells “a significant number” of firearms a dealer, who needs a license and background checks.

Several 2020 Democratic contenders have been more explicit.

Julián Castro, Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke all have proposed using “five guns in a single year” as a threshold for needing a dealer’s license.

Harris said she would take executive action to require background checks for anyone, including websites, “facilitating the private gun sales online for profit.”

Brad Heath, USA TODAY and The Associated Press contributed.

Nick Penzenstadler is a reporter on the USA TODAY investigations team, focusing primarily on firearms and consumer financial protection. Contact him at npenz@usatoday.com or @npenzenstadler, or on Signal at (720) 507-5273. 

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